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special science ricuon 



r wrap-up issue 



$3.95 
K49112 
DGS 
UK 
£2.00 
NOV 




TRON— Reviewed by Ed Nana 



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\ 



*T« 



K 



Special 
Report: 

ULTIMATE 
FANTASY 



d by Bob Martin 

lADE RUNNER 
Reviewed by Norman Spinrar 



■ ■ "*L 



POLTERGEIST 
Reviewed by Ron Goulart 




A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY 

TO GET FREE MPC KITS 






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1982 Fundimensions, 

, Division of CPG Products Corp 
pMt. Clemens. Ml 48085 



THE BEST MODELS COME FROM THE BEST KITS. 



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NOVEMBER 1982 

Number 64 

THE MAGAZINE OF THE FUTURE 



® 




A 
_6 



FROM THE BRIDGE 

COMMUNICATIONS 

Letters From Our Readers 

LOG ENTRIES 

Latest News From The Worlds of Science Fiction & Fact 10 

STARLOG CONTEST 

Part Two of Our Six-Part Contest 1 3 

ILM 

Secrets of "Trek" Genesis Revealed 17 

PAN SCENE 22 

"GREATEST AMERICAN HERO" 

Ralph & Co. Confront Season Three 24 

PETER BARTON 

"Matthew Star" Revisited 



"DR. WHO" EPISODE GUIDE. 

SF RECORDS 

A Review of SF's Latest Disks 



_27 
32 



34 



SHOOTING THE STARS 

Alan Spencer Takes Aim at Movie Sequels 38 

"STAR TREK II— THE WRATH OF KHAN" 

David Cerrold Delves Deeper 40 

"CONAN" 

Reviewed By Bob Creenberger 46 



THE LIGHTER SIDE OF SUMMER CINEMA 

Part One 48 

"E.T. THE EXTRA TERRESTRIAL" 

Reviewed By Alan Dean Foster 49 

"BLADE RUNNER" 

Reviewed By Norman Spinrad 55 

TRON' 

Reviewed By Ed Naha_ 



CONVENTION CALENDAR. 
"POLTERGEIST" 

Reviewed By Ron Coulart 

'THE THING" 

Reviewed By Alan Spencer_ 



38 
.62 



65 

67 



THE LIGHTER SIDE OF SUMMER CINEMA 

Part Two 70 

CLASSIFIED INFORMATION 71 

"ROAD WARRIOR" 

Reviewed By Bob Martin 

DAVID WARNER 

The Villainous Sark is Really A very Nice Guy 

ULTIMATE FANTASY 

An On-the-Scene Report : 



.73 

.80 
_84 



O'Quinn: From the Captain's Chair. 
LASTWORD 



.94 

98 



STARLOG is published by O'QUINN studios, inc., 475 Park Avenue South, New York, N.Y. 10016, (ISSN 0191-4626) This is issue Number 64, November 1982 (Volume Six), 
Content is © Copyright 1982 by O'QUINN studios, inc. All rights reserved. Reprint or reproduction in part or in whole without written permission from the 
publishers is strictly forbidden. STARLOG accepts no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, photos, art, or other materials, but if freelance submittals are ac- 
companied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope, they will be seriously considered and, if necessary, returned. Products advertised are not necessarily en- 
dorsed by STARLOG. and any views expressed in editorial copy are not necessarily those of STARLOG. Second class postage paid at New York, NY and additional mail- 
ing offices, subscription rates: S23.99 one year <12 issues) delivered in U.S. and Canada, foreign subscriptions S29.00 in U.S. funds only. New subscriptions send 
directly to starlog, 475 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 1001 6. Notification of change of address or renewals send to STARLOG subscription Dept p Box 1 42 
Mt. Morris, IL. 61054. Printed in U.S.A. 



fffWOG 



NOVEMBER 1982 #64 



Business and Editorial Offices: 
O'Quinn studios, inc. 

475 Park Avenue South 
New York, NY 10016 



Publishers 

NORMAN JACOBS 

KERRY O'OUINN 

Associate Publisher 
RITA EISENSTEIN 

Circulation Director 
RICHARD BROWNE 



Editor 
HOWARD ZIMMERMAN 

Art Director 
STEVEN J. PLUNKETT 

Managing Editor 
SUSAN ADAMO 

Science & SFX Editor 

DAVID HUTCHISON 

Associate Editors 

DAVID HIRSCH 

ROBERT CREENBERCER 

DAVID EVERITT 

Senior Designer 

NEIL HOLMES 

Designers 

DIANE COOK 

SHELLY MARKS 

DEBRA KELMAN 

Photographer 
JOHN CLAYTON 

Columnists 

DAVID CERROLD 
BJO TRIMBLE 



Financial Manager. Joan Baetz 
Production Assistants: Cindy Levine, Eileen 
Dempsey, Norma Garcia, Sue Oster, Eddie 
Berganza. 

contributors This issue: Harve Bennett, Martha 
Bonds, Rodney Bonds, Howard cruse, Phil Foglio, 
Aian Dean Foster, Ron Goulart, Bob Martin, Ed 
Nana, Marsha Riley, Alan Spencer, Norman 
Spinrad, Steve Swires, Ken Tobey. 

About The cover: ET, this summer's shining star, 
is surrounded by some of the past seasons other 
memorable characters and scenes. Read what the 
SF-pros say about all these films inside. 

E.T. PHOTO: © 1982 UNIVERSAL 

BLADE RUNNER PHOTO: © 1982 LADD CO. 

STAR TREK II PHOTO: © 1982 PARAMOUNT 

TRON PHOTO: © 1982 WALT DISNEY PRODUCTIONS 

ROLTERCEIST PHOTO: © 1982 MGM-UA 

THE THING PHOTO: © 1982 UNIVERSAL 

ROAD WARRIOR PHOTO: © 1982 WARNER BROS. 



Advertising Director. Rita Eisenstein (212) 
689-2830. 



FROM THE BRIDGE 



The con of wrath 

I was worried from the start. 
The plans and promises for the Ultimate Fantasy seemed too colossal to be possi- 
ble. William Shatner was to be the headliner, and almost every member of the Star 
Trek crew was scheduled to be there in person. In fact, I was told confidentially that 
Leonard Nimoy would make a surprise, unadvertised appearance (see "Spock Un- 
conned," page 96). There was to be an orchestra of more than 60 of Houston s finest 
symphonic musicians, and a giant internally-lit model of the U.S.S. Enterprise (encased in 
plexiglass) was to be given away as the grand door prize. 

Not only that, but there were supposed to be 57 outdoor billboards around Houston, 
radio and TV commercials by the hundreds, and ads in STARLOG, TV Guide and other 
publications. There was to be a laser show, holographic projections, a revolving stage, 
live special effects, and the entire event was being videotaped by cameras around the 
17 000-seat Summit sports arena near Houston's fabulous Galleria district. 

I was told there would be over 60 minutes of film clips from both Star Trek movies and 
the TV series, plus the TV bloopers— all part of the three four-hour shows scheduled on 
Saturday and Sunday— and Walter Koenig had written an original Star Trek drama 
which would be performed (in special reflective costumes) by the cast. 

Several weeks in advance, I was offered two first class airline tickets and told I'd have a 
luxury hotel suite and a fleet of limousines at my disposal while in Houston. Slightly ex- 
travagant, I thought! 

I called producer Jerry Wilhite several times to express my worries about the way he 
was spending money and to be sure his grandiose plans were progressing as hoped. Final- 
ly, in a marathon four-hour telephone conversation, he assured me that so far he had sold 
over 20,000 tickets: "The show is already in the black. Don't worry, Kerry. I stand to 
make over three million profit on this. I'm even thinking of scheduling a fourth perfor- 
mance on Sunday night!" 

I asked how in the world he got the hundreds of thousands of dollars this event was 
costing. Some of his answers turned out to be true; some didn't. Some of his astounding 
plans actually happened; some didn't. 

Because Wilhite seemed sincere and capable, I offered anything STARLOG could do to 
help make this show a smashing success. STARLOG donated several hundred dollars 
worth of magazines, posters and Photo Guidebooks to be given away to fans and to hos- 
pitalized children who could not attend. STARLOG accepted advertising worth thousands 
of dollars— some of those ads have not been paid for and may never be. STARLOG lost a 
lot of money on this, and I guess I was the only joker who never asked a penny for ap- 
pearing in the show— even though, as it turned out, the majority of the program ended 
up falling on my shoulders. 

The unfortunate thing is that when the weekend started turning sour, the rumors 
started flying (all over the country) and one of those rumors was that STARLOG was one 
of the producers, promoters and financial backers of the Ultimate Fantasy— just because 
I was the show's MC and because ads appeared in our magazine. 
Nothing could be farther from the truth. 

We were victims, along with thousands of others. But in spite of the traumas, there 
were many bright moments, especially mingling with the fans and the Trek cast. Like 
Dorothy said at the end of The Wizard ofOZ,"... some of it wasn't very nice, but most 
if it was beautiful!" 

In Texas, everything is bigger— for better or for worse, and since I come from the Lone 
Star State, I'm used to folks who think too big and attempt outrageous things. When 
they succeed, they add to the state's reputation as the land where everything is bigger- 
than-life. When they fail, they build Texas' reputaion as the land where schemers wheel- 
and-deal. 

Sometime during that historic weekend, somebody coined the nickname, and it stuck; 
for all of us who were a part of it, June 17-20, 1982, will always be remembered as The 
Con of Wrath. 

The Ultimate Fantasy is the story of something that was intended to be the most spec- 
tacular Trek event ever staged and turned out to be the most massive disaster in science- 
fiction convention history. The complete, horrible, wonderful tale is presented for all to 
read in this issue— starting on page 84. 

Nobody saw it all. Our special convention section is compiled from our on-the-spot re- 
porter/photographer team, Martha and Rodney Bonds, who spent four days running be- 
tween the Shamrock Hotel and the Summit, interviewing the stars— from Harve 
Bennett's kind clues as to Spock's fate in Star Trek ///—and from my own first-hand ex- 
periences backstage. 

Fasten your seat belts, folks! 

Kerry O'Quinn/Pubhsher 



4 STARLOG/November 1982 



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STARLOC/November 1982 



COMMUN/CATIONSf 



Because of the large volume of mail we 
receive, personal replies are impossible. 
Comments, questions and suggestions of 
general interest are appreciated and may 
be selected for publication. Write: 
STARLOG COMMUNICATIONS 
475 Park Avenue South 
8th Floor Suite 
New York, N.Y. 10016 



LEGACY OF EXCELLENCE 

. . . Before the release of Star Trek II- The Wrath of 
Khan an onslaught of supposedly "concerned" 
fans were stirred into an uproar over reports of Mr . 
Spock's death in the film. 

The actor who portrayed Spock, Leonard 
Nimoy, was made the brunt of hostility that was in- 
tended to pressure him into reversing a creative 
decision he had no. control over. 

Now the film has been seen, and the bygone 
hysteria in retrospect seems both unfounded and 
immature. That's probably why it's all been 
forgotten. 

Let me say this: I'd read a hundred times people 
screaming SPOCK MUST NOT DIE, but not once 
did I hear any of these people say LEONARD 
NIMOY'S CAREER MUST LIVE! 

I feel we all owe Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry 
and Dorothy Fontana an immense thank you for 
the character of Mr. Spock. For it is to Mr. Spock 
that we owe our greatest debt: introducing us to 
Leonard Nimoy. 

Rarely has a more gifted, versatile, warm and 
yes, "fascinating" personality become renowned 
via mass media. 

Anyone who has seen this man's photographs or 
read either his prose or poetry knows the Leonard 
Nimoy I am describing. 

Anyone who saw his electrifying performance in 
Equus or his hypnotic one man show Vincent 
understands the depth of the talent I'm writing of. 

And anyone who has read or heard this actor's 
opinions, thoughts and observations through inter- 
views should surely realize we're in the reassuring 
presence of a gentle and intelligent humanitarian. 

If Leonard Nimoy chooses to play Mr. Spock 
again, then fine. If he decides against it, then that's 
fine too. 

But if he ever decided to give up acting, that 
would be a tragedy. 

It's my hope that the special genius of Leonard 
Nimoy which made Spock such a real and tangible 



personality goes on to create other characters for us 
to care about just as much. 

For whether he's the cameleon of Mission: Im- 
possible, the sinister psychiatrist of Invasion of the 
Body Snatchers, the sympathetic husband in 
Golda, the treacherous diplomat of Marco Polo or 
just doing a commercial or narration spot, 
Leonard Nimoy consistently gives us a legacy of 
perfection and excellence. 

Science fiction is proud of Leonard Nimoy, so is 
the acting profession which he replenishes through 
his constant support of the arts. 

If all this sounds like I've been inspired in my life 
by Leonard Nimoy, then so it should. His work did 
inspire me to pursue and achieve a career in the 
entertainment industry. 

It's my hope that others who love his work 
follow his example of dedication and hard work to 
achieve their varied goals as well (show business or 
not). 

And if what I've said sounded like I've been 
defending Leonard Nimoy, I haven't. He doesn't 
need defending. Why? Because all Leonard Nimoy 
owes us no matter what he's doing is a good perfor- 
mance. 

It's a certainty he'll never be in debt in that 
department. 

Leonard Nimoy. . .1 celebrate your talent. . . 
and may you and your career truly LIVE LONG 
AND PROSPER! 

Alan Spencer 

Writer/Co-producer 

NBC-TV 

Burbank, CA 



ON KOENIC 

... I am writing to thank you for printing Walter 
Koenig's article, "Where Have You Gone, Gene 
Roddenberry?", in STARLOG #62. It was an ex- 
cellent article that brought to light some uncomfor- 
table examples of today's society. 

I hope in the future you will use this fine writer's 
works again. 

Jacqueline Edwards 

13725 Polk Plaza - #219 

Omaha, Nebraska 68137 

... I am grateful to you for printing interesting and 
informative articles. The articles to which I refer in 
particular are the interview with Walter Koenig 
(#61) and his piece (#62), "Where Have You Gone, 
Gene Roddenberry?" I am surprised and delighted 
to see that some measure of honesty is alive and 
well, living in Hollywood, a veritable wasteland of 
sweetness and light. 




Reality is often more difficult to accept than fan- 
tasy; however, I prefer it to an embellished version 
that, in effect, insults my intelligence. 

Keep up the good work! 

Susan R. McCutchen 

7704 Random Run Lane 

Apartment #203 

Falls Church, Virginia 22042 

THE "RUNNER" STUMBLES 

... I have recently seen Blade Runner, and I was 
most disappointed. I had finished Do Androids 
Dream of Electric Sheep? only a week prior to 
Blade Runner's release. After reading the novel, 
which is an excellent, thought-provoking work, I 
eagerly waited to see the film on which it is sup- 
posedly based. Every technical aspect of the film 
was outstanding, the effects and set design of the 
nightmarish vision of Los Angeles left me in awe. 
However, Harrison Ford's portrayal of Rick 
Deckard left much to be desired, but he can't be 
blamed, for the character Rick Deckard left much 
to be desired. Deckard had no worthwhile 
dialogue, no personality, and no interesting con- 
flicts of nature, and believe me, the novel offered 
many chances to elaborate on these aspects of 
Deckard. Conversely, I thought Rutger Hauer's 
performance of the chilling Roy Batty was most ad- 
mirable. Hauer's presence was felt in every scene, 
which he most brilliantly stole. Sean Young's 
Rachel was rather flat, as most of the characters. 
Edward James Olmos did a fine job with Gaff, 
who could have been an interesting character, but 
was left as little more than an extra. 

It seems Blade Runner could have been many 
good things, it could have made a statement about 
life, it could have had a meaning, it could have been 
more than another special effects film, but it isn't. 
What it turns out to be is a simple, rather slow 
detective story, much like the old Sam Spade 
movies. 

Maybe I shouldn't say the movie disappointed 
me, in truth, it just made me mad. It upset me to 
watch all that talent wasted. It could be a blessing 
the late Philip Dick never saw the final version of 
Blade Runner, for if I had written a novel of that 
stature, I would hate for it to be reduced to a 
pointless detective story. What a tremendous waste 
of money, talent, and hard work. . . 

Matt Chesnutt 

2030 Kendrick Rd. 

Gastonia, N.C. 28052 



... I only have high praises for Harrison Ford's 
portrayal of Rick Deckard. It's by far his best ac- 
ting job. I've never been disappointed by any of 
the actor's films yet and am eagery awaiting his 
next one. 

Barbara E. Trimble 

210-C Gillmore Avenue 

San Antonio, TX 78226 



... I am extremely disappointed that Blade Run- 
ner has received an R rating. I'm angry that 
Ridley Scott saw fit to include so much violence, 
or whatever it was, that earned Blade Runner an 
R rating. I'm 13 and I'm sure that many other 
people my age would go to see Blade Runner if it 
weren't for its rating. Mr. Scott is going to lose a 
lot of money because the majority of the people 
who would have gone to see the movie are under- 
age. I realize that Mr. Scott tried to get the R 



ST ARLOG/ 'November 1982 



rating changed to PG, but the only way he could 
have accomplished that would have been to cut 

me of the movie. In my opinion, and I'm sure 
■any others agree, Harrison Ford is the best actor 
I the world, and he deserves better than to be in 
an R rated film. 

Melissa Hobbs 

3800 Tanglewood 

Bryan, TX 77801 



...Saturday, May 8, 1982, I had experienced 
what is perhaps the greatest movie of all time. 
Blade Runner is a fantastic movie. The sneak 
preview of this magical spectacle here in San 
Diego, to top it off, also had Harrison Ford in 
person. The struggle for life which culminated 
with the final confrontation between blade run- 
ner, Deckard, and replicant, Roy Batty, was 
shockingly beautiful. Blade Runner is certainly 
Ford's best movie thus far. All of his past movies 
pale in comparison to this masterpiece. 

Ruel Hernandez 

3703 Stockman Street 

National City, California 92050 



... In Blade Runner, the vision of a future Earth 
is the most detailed yet presented on the screen. 
There is more information in one frame of this 
movie than there is in a whole reel of any other 
film. The bituminous cityscape goes beyond the 
urban canyon miniatures of Fritz Lang's Metro- 
polis; Doug Trumbull and his EEG outfit put on a 
show in the effects department. The society is as 
jarring as the architecture, a cross-pollination of 
influences that includes Philip K. Dick's The Man 
in the High Castle, Alvin Toffler's Future Shock, 
Jean-Luc Godard's Alphaville, and the sordid 
narcosis of Metal Hurlant, resulting in a nihilistic 
cultural nexus. And that's the problem. There's 
no one to emphathize with in this movie. Ridley 
Scott, the director who once aspired to be the 
"John Ford of SF films," concentrates mightily 
on getting the look of the film right and, by God, 
he succeeds with a vengeance. But the characters 
don't approach the fleshed-out plane of Dick's 
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, the in- 
spirational source. The film junks the 
metaphysics of the novel in favor of the noir leit- 
motifs best typified by the writings of Raymond 
Chandler and Dashiell Hammett and the movies 
adapted therefrom. It's too bad because the 
movie could've been a great picture. Still, Blade 
Runner has visuals that can set fire to brainpans 
without chemical aids. For those thus inclined, it 
can be a real trip. 

Al Christensen 

Tacoma, WA 



TREK'-A-TREAT 

... I have very much appreciated your coverage 
of Star Trek II-The Wrath of Khan. Nicholas 
Meyer, whose Time After Time was a gem, has 
done it again with Star Trek //and deserves much 
praise, as does everyone involved with the making 
of this delightful movie. 

I have also appreciated your including nume- 
rous pictures of Ricardo Montalban. His sinister 
and sexy portrayal of Khan stole the show as far 
as I was concerned, and I have a new admiration 
for that man's acting talent. I would like to see 
STARLOG do a feature story on Mr. Montalban, 
as I am curious about his participation in the 



making of the film, his opinions on it, etc. Thank 
you. 

Shawn M. Morrison 

54-414 Martinez 

La Quinta, California 92253 

Check out STARLOG #62 Shawn, for our inter- 
view with Ricardo Montalban. 

... I had a nice long letter all written up about 
how much I liked Star Trek II-The Wrath of 
Khan. I was going to tell you that I saw it three 
times the first week it was out and have read 
Vonda N. Mclntyre's novel countless times. 

I was going to say that the acting was superb, 
the screenplay magnificant, the new uniforms 
wonderful, the soundtrack marvelous, special ef- 
fects great, Kirstie (Saavik) Alley gorgeous and 
her role excellent. Then I was going to say how 
much I like the "older" actors better than I do the 
"younger" ones from the TV series, how proper 
and logical Spock's death was (I really don't care 
if he comes back; he had the best exit in the history 
of theatrics), how I liked Kirk's sense of humor, 
how nice it was that Walter (Chekov) Koenig had 
something to do, and how I hope Nichelle 
(Uhura) Nichols and George (Sulu) Takei will 
have more important roles in Star Trek III. Yes, I 
was going to say all those things, maybe even 
more. Instead, I found a way to sum it all up in 
one sentence: This is what Star Trek is supposed 
to be like ! May Star Trek III — In Search ofSpock 
be as perfect a movie as The Wrath of Khan! (In- 
cidently, anyone remember Leonard Nimoy's do- 
cumentary series In Search of. . . ? How appro- 
priate.) 

Bryon Cannon 

226 West 17th Street 

Hutchinson, KS 67501 



. . . Well, I saw Star Trek II and all I can say about 
it is FANTASTIC! The effects and storyline were 
great! I hope Kirk's son is used in the third movie 
because he seems to be an interesting character 
(even though he's cocky, brash and arrogant). 
The Genesis Project could become an interesting 
concept after its used in the second movie. 

For those not fortunate enough to see the 
movie, read the book by Vonda Mclntyre. If the 
movie would've been taken from the book, it 
could've run until the third movie came out! 

Jerry Fiore 

9716 S. Rutherford Ave. 

Oak Lawn, IL 60453 



. . .As one of those who made The Wrath of 
Khan's debut such a smash success when it 
opened, may I say that I agree with Mr. Kelley and 
everyone else that this was the real return of Star 
Trek, it was an enthralling story, complete with 
heroism and unforgettable villainy in the form of 
Ricardo Montalban. (He almost stole the show)! 
Were it not for Spock's "death" I would rejoice 
fully over this film. But the fact that the producers 
found his death "necessary" concerns me, and I 
hope I am wrong about the story-line the pro- 
posed series is evidently taking. A foregone con- 
clusion is that the next film will be taken up with 
The Search for Spock. Will that then be followed 
by Kirk's Revenge or maybe even the Return of 
Khan? 

Star Trek is too precious a commodity for such 
sensationalism, and certainly we loyal devotees 
deserve more. Will the Enterprise continue to go 



"where no man has gone before" or where the 
producers think the bucks are? 

Karen Murphy 

2434 Alexander St. 

Oxnard, CA 93033 

. . .On June 5, 1982, I settled back in my theater 
seat for Star Trek II. The moment I heard James 
Horner's music, which so beautifully intertwined 
the old theme, I knew I was in for something 
special. 

ST II is superb. Harve Bennett, Jack Sowards 
and Nicholas Meyer deserve the respect and grati- 
tude of Trekkers everywhere. They did indeed 
bring back the old Trek, but at the same time it is a 
new Trek. I started watching Trek in 1970 when I 
was six years old. I've grown up with S7"and it's 
nice to see that ST and all my heroes have grown 
up too. 

Even the controversial ending was handled 
with such care that it turned out beautiful too. 
Bravo gentlemen, ST II is outstanding. 

Scott Hoezee 

8364 2 Mile Rd NE 

Ada, MI 49301 

... I would like to take this time to express my 
thoughts on Star Trek II. As DeForest Kelley put 
it (in STARLOG #60) this was Star Trek I. The 
production and direction was excellent. The cove- 
rage that STARLOG has done with the behind the 
scenes, interviews with the cast and so on was a 
job well done. 

Brain Plooster 

301 Hardy 

Akron, Iowa 51001 



COSMIC 
LAND RUSH 

FINALLY, YOU CAN AFFORD 
TO OWN LAND! 

Buy Property on Mars. "That's right." 
Property on Mars is now available to you; 
have your very own personalized crater or 
10,000 acres — it's your choice. 

This fun and unique gift idea is the ulti- 
mate treasure for that someone who has 
everything; at parties or whenever friends 
are over. It makes the perfect conversa- 
tion piece. Space enthusiasts will admire 
the Martian Land Documents. 

We do not want to mislead you into be- 
lieving that you own realty on Mars, but 
we do want you to use your imagination. 
When purchasing land on Mars, specify 
what you would like to have on your land 
such as: airports, industry, home, or tour- 
ist sites . . . whatever you may think of, 
it's your land. In return you will receive 
a complete documented Owner's Certifi- 
cate, which includes a claim deed, maps 
of property, photographs, and an eight page 
fact sheet which gives you interesting de- 
tails about your new world. 

For your Mars documents send: Check or 
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S/H to: Extraterrestrial Estates, 303 N. 

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Allow 3 to 4 weeks delivery. 

A portion of the proceeds will be distributed to 

contributing space agencies. 

Name 



Address- 



City/Zip 

Desired Property Crater □ or Land □ 
STARLOG/November 1982 7 



COMMUNICATIONSf 




'THING" THAWS 

. . . Your three pages on Kenneth Tobey alone 
were worth the price of admission to your 
September issue. The characterizations he and the 
rest of the cast added to the original The Thing are 
lacking in the new version, and Tobey has never 
disappointed me in anything I've seen him in 
since. In Hero at Large, for example, he turned 
his brief dialog ("No, you take charge out here 
—I'm going in") into the dramatic highlight of 
that whole movie, and it was that line that drew 
applause in theaters. 

By the way, has anybody kept count of the 
remakes we've seen in recent years? Besides The 
Thing, there have been new versions of Tarzan, 
King Kong, the Lone Ranger, the Body Snatcher, 
Flash Gordon, Things To Come, and now a new 
movie version of Twilight Zone — and none I've 
seen hold a candle to the originals. More to the 
point, what does it say about our cinematic 
creativity (or lack of it) when our entertainers 
must look to the past instead of to themselves for 
their inspiration? And Sean Connery's doing a 
new version of Thunderbolt?? 

Paul Dellinger 

R4, 150 Nottingham Dr. 

Wytheville, VA 24382 



BARBARIAN RAVES 

. . . Conan the Barbarian is a movie of great ex- 
citement, it conveys a true Hyborean spirit. It is a 
story of unbounded glory and creates a cartharsis 
of the emotions. One can not remain detached 
from this movie, it reaches out for you , captures, 
and then forces you to react, whether positive or 
negative. After a showing there is no apathy in the 
audience, it simply can not exist. Ron Cobb's 
genius abounds and contributes to the over- 
whelming visual impact of Conan the Barbarian. 
The soundtrack manages the complex task of ba- 
lancing an imperial sense of order and regality, 
with the freedom and savagery of the Hyborean 
age, and thereby creates music which is powerful 
and also compatible with the images on the 
screen. The acting is very good; Arnold 
Schwarzehegger portrays a thoughtful and pen- 
sive Conan, Sandahl Bergman, portraying 
Valeria, Conan's companion and equal in spirit, 
turns in an exceptional performance. The woman 
is dynamite, a spitfire who can handle a sword, 
and is beautiful yet no sex kitten. The two of them 



combine and become alive, they become people, 
strong in character and will. The relationship has 
a certain vitality that few films can surpass. Sur- 
prisingly, for a picture six years in the making, 
there is a remarkable continuity throughout the 
entire film. It is refreshing to hear that John 
Millus cut the budget, down to $19 million. 
Robert E. Howard fanatics as well as a large cross 
section of the population should enjoy Conan the 
Barbarian, the combining of several Conan 
legends works well. The film brings a rugged view 
of life to the scene. It's big, burly and filled with 
action and adventure, but is not without a sense of 
humor; so go out and see it and perhaps we'll be 
privy to a sequel. 

Sean Gregg 

75 Forrestal Avenue 

Staten Island, N.Y. 10312 



... I am writing to tell you that after seeing and 
hearing (Entertainment Tonight) how "running- 
w's" (trip wires) were used several times in the 
movie Conan that I will not go to see it — even 
though I have been looking forward to seeing it 
for months. It is possible to make thrilling and 
successful movies (Excalibur, Raiders of the Lost 
Ark) without destroying beautiful and trusting 
animals. We cannot let this go on any longer. If 
STARLOG goes on covering this film then its 
readers will know that it is only concerned with 
competing with other fantasy-film magazines for 
the big money. I am very disappointed in 
STARLOG. I love heroic themes in films, but 
there is nothing heroic or noble about making 
horses perform deadly stunts just for the sake of 
box-office revenue. 

Donna MacLeod 

Wheeling, W.Va. 



. . . Finally, Conan is brought to the screen 50 
years after its inception. The movie was chock full 
of action and excitement and was a real thrill. 
However, the editing was too strict in places and 
too lenient in others. There were not enough bat- 
tle scenes, especially in the case of the giant ser- 
pent in the Tower of Set. The two major sex 
scenes were a little too much, considering that 
Conan merchandising will extend to little kids. 
The cinematography was a little jumpy at times. 
The first half-hour was somewhat muddled — es- 
pecially to newcomers to the Conan stories. 

Ed Chang 

RD 1, Box 132, Fall Dr. 

Stockholm, NJ 07460 



"ROAD WARRIOR" RATES 

... I have been a loyal fan of your fine magazine 
for some time now, but have never attempted to 
write to this or any other publication before now. 
However, I recently discovered a fine new SF 
movie called The Road Warrior, and your 
magazine is one of the few that has given this ex- 
citing Australian adventure at least part of the 
coverage that it deserves. While I greatly ap- 
preciate this coverage, I would be eternally 
grateful if you could come up with a few more 
Z?Pf-related article in future issues. I would love 
to see an interview with Mel Gibson, the 
charismatic young star of the movie. And I would 
be thrilled to get a few good stills from the movie 
in addition to those you have already published 
(several of which have also appeared in Time.) I 
have not been able to find any, but STARLOG 
seems to be able to come up with good ones when 



no one else can. PLEASE heed the request of this 
ardent Road Warrior fan and continue your 
coverage! 

Incidently, while R W is not nearly as well- 
known as it deserves to be among fans of SF films, 
at least not so far, it is the sort of movie that can be 
enjoyed by almost everyone. Three members of 
my family, none of whom enjoy SF in any way, 
shape or form, liked this movie — although they 
did find it a bit off-beat. I hope that others will 
discover R W and make it ultimately successful 
financially so its producers will feel encouraged to 
go ahead with Mad Max III. 

Once again, I'd like to thank you for the 
coverage and urge you to continue it, as well as all 
of the fine work you have been doing all along. I 
know I will continue to enjoy reading STARLOG 
every month, confident of a consistently high 
level of quality. Thanks again. 

Sue Krinard 

933 Getoun Dr. 

Concord, CA 94518 

E.T. CAPTURES THE WORLD 

. . . After seeing Steven Spielberg's new SF spec- 
tacular, E.T. — The Extra Terrestrial, my eight 
year-old son and I cried. We were so touched by 
this movie. It is wonderful beyond belief, 
touching both the heart and the funny bone. 

Jim Costello III 

242 Glasgow Street 

Clyde, NY 144433 



... I thought E. T. was going to be another of 
those "pseudo-religious encounter with aliens" 
movies or the classic "invasion of the monster 
from planet X who captures the damsel-in-dis- 
tress before being destroyed by a last minute only 
science fiction contrived super weapon." 

Happily I was surprised. It has a sensitivity and 
understanding rarely seen. Here we have a scared, 
timid alien who wants to go home. When he first 
meets Elliot in the corn field, he runs away 
screaming. Not all aliens are out to destroy the 
Earth and they do have very "human" emotions. 

Jeffrey Berger 

14 Denver Drive 

New City, NY 10956 



... To celebrate Father's Day last June, I took my 
parents and sister to see E. T. I had some idea of 
the movie's plot, but they were completely in the 
dark. The theater was packed for the first Sun- 
day. We witnessed perhaps the most heart-war- 
ming and enjoyable movie I have seen, ever. The 
last time I remember crying at the end of a movie 
was the first time I saw Angels with Dirty Faces. It 
was a joy. On leaving the theater, my mother (58 
years-old) with eyes swollen (it took her about an 
hour to recover), perhaps summed it up best. She 
said, "If a movie like that can fill a theater today, 
there's still hope for the world." 

Ken Browning 

P.O. Box 543 

Tillsonburg, Ontario 

Canada N4G4J1 



.. .E.T. is Steven Spielberg's best film yet! I was 
so totally involved with the story that I didn't 
pause once to analyze the film-making. I was too 
busy wiping the tears from my eyes. 

Ronnie Lajoie 

153 Woodbine Street 

Cranston, RI 02910 



8 STARLOC/November 1982 



...£■. T. is the best film I have ever seen (tied with 
Raiders). A must not only for every SF fan, but 
anyone who can get to see it. The mechanical ef- 
fects were phenomenally carried out by Carlo 
/4L/£7VRambaldi and they made E.T. incredibly 
believable. The acting of Henry Thomas, Drew 
Barrymore and Dee Wallace gave a big boost and, 
together with Spielberg's brilliant directing and 
Melissa Mathison's marvelously charming script, 
have made this the greatest film ever released and 
a classic forever more! 

Mike Davis 

2034 Royal Fern Ct. 

Reston, VA 22091 



...E.T. is a movie of extreme beauty, in- 
telligence, caring and humanity. It has an incredi- 
ble sense of wonder. I never thought Spielberg 
would surpass CE3K, but he did. 

Gregg Bryant 

752 Rogers Road 

Villa Hills, KY 41017 



... My wife and I recently saw a movie that, for 
two hours, closed the abyss between parent and 
child, between man and the cosmos. That film is 
E.T., a beautifully simple movie with an eye- 
tearing emotional impact. It was filled with love 
and joy. It touches a soft spot deep within our 
souls, it gives purpose and meaning, a better 
understanding of ourselves and our life. 

Lee Kaminski 

15220 El Camino Drive 

Orland Park, IL 60462 



. . . Few, very few, films move me in the way E. T. 
did. I don't normally cry at a film, not since I was 
10 or so at least, but the end and several other 
parts had me ready to bust out sobbing (and I did 
at the end!). E.T. is so believable, it's amazing. 
He's so life-like, he could be alive! 

Darrel Lansing 

18652 Libra Cir #4 

Huntington Beach, CA 92646 

... I came out of the theater after seeing E. T. and 
didn't stop smiling for an hour. It's funny, ex- 
citing, warm. . .it's a masterpiece! 

Charlie Cethbertson 

1868 John Street 

Layton, UT 84041 



UHURA SINGS 

...On "The John Davidson Show" Nichelle 
Nichols mentioned that she was coming out with a 
record in June with the songs "Uhura's Theme" 
and "Beyond Antares" but I have not been able 
to find it anywhere. CAN STARLOG HELP?? 

Kurt Donaldson 

R.R.I 

Dodge Center, MN 55927 

We sure can, Kurt. The lovely songs have indeed 
been pressed into a record which can be pur- 
chased through STARLOG. See the ad on page 5. 

CORRECTION 

STARLOG apologizes for the typographical error 
in the spelling of Android 's mechanical makeup ex- 
pert John Buechler in the article in #63 on page 64. 



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STARLOG/Novemher 1QR7 



LOG ENTRIESf 



Compiled & Edited by Susan Adamo 



LATEST NEWS FROM THE WORLDS OF SCIENCE FICTION & FACT 



"CREEPSHOW" 
FOR HALLOWEEN 



[arner Brothers is hoping to send 
shivers up and down spines across the 
country this October 29 when the Stephen 
King-George Romero film Creepshow 



releases. The $8 million production features 
Hal Holbrook, Adrienne Barbeau, Fritz 
Weaver, Viveca Lindfors, Leslie Neilsen and 
E. G. Marshall in addition to King himself. 




Slowly, but surely, they're creeping up on E.G. Marshall. 




A crate, unlike any other, opens to reveal an 
unspeakable horror in the segment "The 
Crate." 



A lonely death awaits Jordy Verill, portrayed 
by Stephen King. 



The production began when King and 
Romero were brainstorming shortly after 
they completed a deal to produce a film ver- 
sion of King's best-selling novel The Stand. 
They were looking to do a smaller, quicker 
film to show potential financial backers. "I 
said, 'What if we did a whole bunch of things 
of varyings lengths?'," King told 
FANGORIA's Bob Martin. From there, he 
and Romero decided to do a film hommage 
to EC Comics {Tales from the Crypt, Vault of 
Horror), the horror comics of the early 1950s 
that influenced a great many filmmakers to- 
day including King and Romero. 

Last fall, after King pounded out a script, 
production began with a summer release date 
in mind. Romero's base of operations, Pitt- 
sburgh, was used once again and Romero 
surrounded himself with his loyal stable of 
behind-the-scenes talent. Romero has been 
making movies in Pittsburgh since the late 
1960s, beginning with Night of the Living 
Dead. 

Five stories make up the Creepshow saga. 
At the start, a young boy (played by King's 
son Joe) is reading the premiere issue of 
Creepshow comics when his father (Tom 
Atkins, a frequent player in John Carpenter's 
films) catches him and throws the comic out 
onto the street. The wind whips through the 
pages while the camera zooms in to begin the 
first story. EC artist Jack Kamen designed the 
comic book cover and illustrated the five 
splash pages. 

' 'What unites the entire movie is that it is a 
comic book," producer Richard Rubinstein 
told Martin. To reproduce standard comic ef- 
fects, bizarre backdrops were designed and 
unusual lighting and colors were employed. 
Make-up effects maven Tom Savini, who 
worked with Romero on Dawn of the Dead 
and starred in last year' s Knightriders, had his 
chance on Creepshow to design make-ups 
that don't rely on explicit blood and gore. 

When the film was nearing completion, 
United Film Distribution made a deal with 
Warner to handle the film and the marketing 
people chose to withhold it until the Hallo- 
ween season when there would be less com- 
petition at the theaters. 

New American Library released Berni 
Wrightson's adaptation of the film in July. 
King wrote the script for the quintet of tales 
which evolved into a lavish tradepaperback 
retailing for $6.95. 



10 STARLOG/November 1982 



To prepare you for the film, here are the 
story synopsis: 

• ' Father's Day' ' : Aunt Bedalia (Lindfors) has 
driven her family crazy with her annual 
pilgrimage to the grave of her father. This 
year, Dad decides to turn up for it, too. 

• The Lonely Death of Jordy Verrill": A not- 
too-bright fanner (King) discovers a meteor 
n his farmland and decides to profit from the 
Rowing item. However, he soon discovers 
dial he should have kept hands off. 

• The Crate": A college janitor (Don Keefer) 
i finds a crate marked "Arctic Expedition 

1834." He calls a faculty gathering which in- 
|tnrrupts Wilma's (Barbeau) usual harranging 
)f her husband Henry (Holbrook) and col- 
league, Dexter (Weaver). Inside the ordinary 
crate lurks an extraordinary and unspeakable 
horror. 

"Something to Tide You Over": Richard 
en) discovers that his wife, Becky 

• Gaylen Ross), has been having an affair with 
is close friend Harry (Ted Danson) and he 

moves to break it up. Richard decides it is 
line for a fitting revenge. 

They're Creeping Up on You": An eccen- 
tric old man (Marshall) is fastidious about 
cleanliness and has gone as far as to have his 
own generator and air filter system installed 
in his Manhattan penthouse apartment. But 
then there's the city-wide blackout and his 
apartment is the only one with the lights on. 
For more about Creepshow, we suggest 
jou pick up FANGORIA #s 18, 19, 20, 22. j*. 



FIXING THE PAST 




Promotional art from NBC's Voyagers'. 
features the series' stars Hexum and Jones. 



Ever wonder what would happen if the 
Wright Brothers never invented the 
airplane? If Moses was never found after his 
mother set him adrift down the Nile? Well, 



thanks to the dedicated force of "Time 
Cops, ' ' these questions, and many more, will 
continue to go unanswered. 

These interdimensional police officers 
travel back and forth correcting errors in the 
continuum. Unfortunately, one member of 
this troop was too busy girl-watching at 
school to know what's really right and wrong 
with history. That's the problem that faces 
Phineas Bogg (Jon-Erik Hexum) in the new 
NBC-TV series Voyagersl 

Fate has saddled Bogg with an orphaned 
boy from 1982 who knows all about history. 
Meeno Peluce, who starred in last season's 
Best of the West, plays the boy, Jeffrey 
Jones. 

The duo are catapulted through time by a 
stop-watch type device called an 
"Omnicron" which automatically takes 
them to a trouble spot and lets them know 
when they've completed their job. Bogg 
would love to get the boy back home, but for 
some odd reason, the Omnicron can't (and, 
we are told, should not have been able to) 
operate past 1970. So, the pair are stuck 
together, like it or not. Bogg won't admit he 
needs the boy's knowledge since his guide 
book was last seen in the mouth of Jeffs dog 
back in 1982. 

Like Galactica 1980, Voyagers! is made 
with a young audience in mind, hoping to 
teach a little history on the side. The show oc- 
cupies the same time slot, Sundays at 7 p.m., 
but on the NBC network. if. 



'AIRPLANE II— 
THE SEQUEL" 



When last we left Ted Striker, he had 
just overcome his fear of flying by lan- 
ding a disease-ridden jumbo jet and, in the 
process, had won back his lady love, 
stewardess Elaine Dickinson. Well, it's a few 
years later now and Ted (Robert Hays) has 
been working on the first commercial lunar 
shuttle. He's apart from Elaine (Julie Hag- 
gerty) who's been led to believe that he's 
cracking up, again. She's now a computer of- 
ficer for the shuttle and deeply involved with 
Mission Control's Simon Kurtz (Chad 
Everett) who wants her to settle down and 
raise a family. 

That's how Airplane II— The Sequel 
begins. After the 1980 film grossed $158 
million worldwide, Paramount Pictures 
decided a sequel was definitely in order and 
asked executive producer Howard W. Koch 
to come up with a new story. Without the 
zany Jim Abrahams and David and Jerry 
Zucker aboard, Paramount turned to Ken 
(Grease 2) Finkleman for a final script and 
tapped him to direct. 

Once again, the movie is filled with a cast 
of character actors giving up their "straight" 
images in favor of some hearty laughs. 
Among them are Sonny Bono as a mad 
bomber upset about his impotence, Ray- 




_ 



mond Buss as a court judge, and William 



Shatner, as Buck Murdock, with Sandahl 
Airplane II. 

Shatner as Buck Murdock, commander of 
the lunar base where the shuttle must make an 
emergency landing. Also joining the film is 
Conan's Sandahl Bergman; Peter Graves 
returns as the pilot, and Lloyd Bridges as 
Captain McCrosky, who comes out of retire- 
ment to talk the shuttle, piloted by Striker, in 
to a safe landing. 

Striker ends up in the driver's seat again 
because there are computer foul-ups caused 
by shoddy materials, overseen by Kurtz. 
Sarge (Chuck Connors) suspects something 



Bergman (left) and 



another actress, 



from 



might be amiss but no one believes him until 
the shuttle takes off and immediately goes out 
of control. Instead of heading for the moon, 
the ship is headed for the Sun. And then, they 
run out of coffee! 

As Kurtz turns to jelly and the pilot and his 
crew fall out of control, Elaine once again 
begs Striker to fly the shuttle and save the 
day. The remainder of the film follows 
Striker's attempts to change course, find the 
Moon and then figure out how to land the 
Shuttle — a craft he's never flown before. * 



qTABinfl/WnvprnVr 1QR2 



LOG ENTRIES f 



MYTHOLOGY 
EXPLAINED 




[hen we last visited with Byron Preiss, 
he had just published Dinosaurs, a 
lushly illustrated Bantam trade paperback all 
about those inhabitants of days gone by. 

Now Preiss has delved into the world of 
"The Fair People," the gnomes, fairies and 
other creatures responsible for a lot of the 
previously unexplained phenomena. 

These fair peole that live in Preiss' The 
Secret: A Treasure Hunt, releasing next 
month from Bantam, fled to America from 
the old world after civilization took over the 
forests, land and rivers. Says Preiss, "They 
came over and they stayed, and they were 



happy. But then they saw that man was 
following the same path and that what had 
happened in the old world would probably 
happen in the new. So the ones who had 
already come over and the ones who followed 
them all decided they would have to go into 
hiding." With them, they took their fabled 
jewels, of which there are 12. 

"I have been entrusted by The Fair People 
to reveal the whereabouts of The Treasure 
through paintings in the book,". Preiss ex- 
plains. "There are 12 treasures hidden 
throughout North America and 12 color 
paintings that contain clues to the 
whereabouts of the treasure. Then, there is a 
poem for each treasure. So, if you can cor- 
rectly figure out the poem and the painting, 
you will find one of the treasures." The 
treasures, buried by Preiss himself, are valued 
at over $10,000. 

National Lampoon editors Sean Kelly and 
Ted Mann provide the history of the Folk and 
devote a large section of the book to their 
descendents of which there are 76 varieties. 
These include the class-conscious Preps 
Ghoul (Stupidissimus scholarum), who 
emigrated from England to New England; 
The West Ghost (Narcissus Pacificus), a tren- 
dy, ever-changing being, which can be found 
at organic taco stands of Chula Vista, Ken 
Kesey's cattle ranch, or anywhere "you go 
looking to find yourself; Maitre D'Eamon 
(Taboo d'hote), which inhabits elegant 
restaurants and the Teen Angels, which have 
been on record only since the 1950s. Explain 




One of Palencar's 12 Treasure paintings. 

the writers, "Prior to that time, in America as 
in the rest of the world, mature children simp- 
ly passed into irresponsible adulthood." 

Jo Ellen Trilling provides the soft- 
sculpture incarnations of the descendents; ■ 
John Palencar, John Pierad and Overton 
Loyd have cooked up the illustrations and 
Ben Asen is photographer. -a 



BOXLEITNER AND 

MORGAN "BRING 'EM 

BACK" 



Frank Buck, legendary big-game hunter 
and collector, has graced the pages of 
American history for decades but he'll finally 
spring to life this fall on the new CBS series, 
Bring 'Em Back Alive. The series stars Bruce 
Boxleitner as Buck who with TRON co-star 
Cindy Morgan, portraying his lady friend. 

The show has been described by CBS as 
concentrating on an exciting time in Buck's 
life, 1939, just as World War II is breaking. 
We find Buck and friends operating out of 
Singapore and Malaya where he encounters 
"smugglers, Axis agents and provocateurs." 
What, no missing Arks? 

The Tuesdays at 8 p.m. series premiered 
September 28 and, for the fourth episode 
filmed, the producers turned to Walter 
Koenig. In "Eyes and Ears of the World," 
Koenig plays a German spy who runs up 
against Buck. 

The series is being produced by Columbia 
Television with Jay Bernstein and Larry 
Thompson listed as executive producers and 
George Schenck and Frank Cardea as co- 
executive producers. * 




The legendary Frank 
Buck (Bruce Boxleit- 
ner) pals out with 
some big game in 
Bring 'Em Back Alive. 



12 STARLOG/November 1982 



CAPPING IT OFF 







rhis STAR TREK United Federation 
of Planets cap, one of the most deluxe 
signs from the Thinking Cap company, is 
•flowing the success of Star Trek: The 
i'rath of Khan by outselling many of their 
lies, including their U.S.S. Enterprise cap. 
wenty-five of these 100% white cotton 
ips with gold and blue patch, issued to all 
fficers at Starfleet Headquarters, are being 
ffered as sixth prize in STARLOG's 
aence Fiction Celebrity Treasure Hunt. 
x details on this page. •& 



CINEMACIC/SVA 

SHORT FILM 
SEARCH AWARDS 

bung Filmmakers will be treated to a 
jecial screening of amateur science fiction, 
intasy and- horror films at the CINE- 
1AGIC magazine/School of Visual Arts 
hort Film Search. Each year since 1979 the 
TNEMAGIC, STARLOG magazine and 
VA staffs judge entries from all over the 
wintry. The finalists are shown at a special 
leening and awarded trophies and mer- 
handise prizes by celebrities of the motion 
re industry. This year's awards 
eremony will be at the Bay Cinema, 32nd 
treet and 2nd avenue on November 1st, 
982, 8p.m. All are welcome to the event 
nd the reception. ADMISSION IS FREE! 
or tickets write: 

CINEMAGIC/SVA 

Short Film Search 

475 Park Ave South 

New York, NY 10016 
.'atch CINEMAGIC magazine for details.-^ 




SCIENCE FICTION CELEBRITY 

TREASURE HUNT 

OUR MOST SPECTACULAR GAME CONTEST EVER! 




*** 279 EXCITING PRIZES *** 



GRAND PRIZE: Mattel's INTELLIVISION® 
Home Video Entertainment System Master 
Component; plus, the INTELLIVOICETM 
Voice Synthesis Module, INTELLIVOICETM 
voice cartridge, TronTM* Deadly Discs 
cartridge, and a Blackjack Card Game cartridge! 
3 FIRST PRIZES: The official ET * Bicycle 
manufactured by KUWAHARA and provided 
by Everything Bicycles. 
6 SECOND PRIZES: Any Don Post full-head 
latex mask currently available from his 
famous collection. 

9 THIRD PRIZES: A limited-edition, signed 
portfolio of beautiful fantasy art, courtesy 



Pacific Comics. 

25 FOURTH PRIZES: A package of four 
original SF motion picture soundtrack albums. 
25 FIFTH PRIZES: An imaginative TSR role- 
playing game. 

PLUS THESE OTHER FABULOUS PRIZES: 
Star Trek caps, TronTM beachtowels, EI** 
bicycle numberplates and racing pads, 
Timescape SF books, an ALIEN portfolio of 
crew insignias, Blade Runner photo and art 
portfolios, Star Trek Vulcan greeting 
stickers and STARLOG gift certificates! 
* © 1982 Walt Disney Productions 
**© 1982 Universal City Studios Inc. 



• Worth More Than $4,485.00* 



QUICKIE INSTRUCTIONS: Identify the 
SF celebrity photo below (from a STARLOG 
back issue), and write the last name in the 
bold black squares. Use ABC clues to fill in 
remaining squares with words related to the 
celebrity. Then, find those three words 
hidden somewhere in this issue (not in ads), 
and write the word that follows each one on 
the ABC hidden word lines. The number 
beneath each hidden word line indicates 
the order of that word in the final 



sentence — the full sentence is the solution 
to the 6-part Celebrity Treasure Hunt. 
IMPORTANT: The complete instructions, 
along with greater details of the prizes, are 
in STARLOG # 63. You must read and follow 
all directions in order to win one or more 
prizes. If you don't have STARLOG #63 , 
send $3.25 (which includes postage) to: 
STARLOG 63, 
475 Park Ave. South, 
NYC, NY 10016, 




□□□□□ 



Hidden words for final § 
sentence: 



A-1 



B— 11 



C — 15 

(See complete instructions 
and prizes in STARLOG #63) 




□□□□□□ 



>□□ 



am 



Clues: 

A. The Contact with Rama 

B. The Monolith 

C. In Paradise and in Rome 

□□□□□□ 



START OG/Novemhpr 19H2 13 



LOG ENTRIESf 



CAROLINE MUNRO 
GOES ROCK 

hile awaiting the start of production 
on her next film, the Starcrash follow- 
up Stella Star, Caroline Munro appeared in a 
videotape with Adam and the Ants perform- 
ing their best-selling British single Goody 
Two Shoes. Munro plays a strait-laced 
reporter interviewing Adam Ant who loses 
her inhibitions when she hears his song, lets 
down her hair and dances up a storm. Shot in 
London in late May, the tape was first broad- 
cast June 3rd on the English TV show Top Of 
The Pops, and was aired in America this sum- 
mer on M-TV, the 24-hour rock music cable 
service. 

Although best known as the "first lady of 
fantasy films" (see STARLOG #57), Munro 
is no stranger to the world of rock . In 1 967 she 
recorded her own single, Tar And 
Cement /The Sporting Life, which was releas- 
ed in England by Columbia Records. In addi- 
tion her husband, Judd Hamilton, who co- 
wrote and co-produced her current movie, 
The Last Horror Film, and will produce 
Stella Star, was the bass guitarist with the 
1960s pop group The T-Bones (No Matter 
What Shape Your Stomach's In.)M\msoand 
Hamilton even recorded two British singles 
together— You Got It /Where Does Love 
Begin, released by Aquarius Records in 1976, 
and Love Songs/Sound Of The Sun, released 
by RCA Records in 1977. 




Caroline rocks with Adam Ant. 

Munro doesn't intend to abandon her ac- 
ting for a singing career, but she recently 
recorded her fourth single, entitled Warrior 
Of Love, which was produced by Hamilton. 
British release is expected before the end of 
the year, with possible American release 
thereafter. Munro also plans to record her 
own videotape performing her new single, -fr 



A TYPICAL PAY 

You start the morning, perhaps, cleaning 
up with your Luke Skywalker bar soap 
($2.00) and just a dab of R2-D2 shampoo 




Available 

through 

TKRP— 

Kenner's 

Boba. 



($5.00). You gulp a fast milk from your Star 
Wars mug ($2.50), maybe have a fast bite off 
your Empire Strikes Back cereal bowl 
($1.69). 

Mom checks the cordless Darth Vader 
clock ($32.95), sees how late you're running, 
and quickly shoves a lunch kit, with a scene 
from the Millenium Falcon ($6.79), into your 
arms. She reminds you to straighten your 
Yoda belt buckle ($4.99), and sends you off 
with your official Wookie Doodle Pad 
($1.99), your Hoth/Bespin notebook ($1.29) 
and Bounty Hunters/Probot portfolio ($.89) 
in tow. 

Once you're out, mom checks her Glo- 
Yoda bulletin board ($6.99) to see what else is 
in store for the rest of the day. 

If that's how you start your morning, then 
you probably already know about TKRP, the 
only mail order house dedicated to licensed 
Star Wars and Empire products. 

TKRP, already into the sixth edition of 
their catalog, not only offers the regular ser- 
vices expected of a mail order firm (a full cash 
refund to unsatisfied customers who return 
their purchases within 30 days of receiving 
them), but makes trades with Star Wars fans 
(simply write them with your terms and 
they'll try to work something out). 

For more information, TKRP can be con- 
tacted at Post Office Box 23114, Lansing 
Michigan 48909-3114. Tell 'em STARLOG 
sent ya. * 



CAMP WITH A TWIST 

It's just like any other summer camp 
with one major exception — the major 
focus is on science. 

The National Youth Science Camp, spon- 
sored by the state of West Virginia, hosts two 
high school graduates from every state from 
July 6 to July 27. Campers are chosen because 
of their accomplishments in math and 
science. 

There is a variety of things for the campers 
to enjoy during the three weeks, including 
arts and crafts, overnight camping trips, 
working in a photography darkroom, and 
working in a computer center. While in West 
Virginia, the campers can also go rock climb- 
ing, kayaking and caving, taking advantage 
of the natural resources the state has to offer. 

One of the most unique things at camp is 
the lecture series featuring such speakers as 
Dr. Isadore Adler, professor of geochemistry 
at the University of Maryland; Paul Garber, 
Historian Emeritus, National Air and Space 
Museum and Dr. Gerald Soffen, Director, 
Life Sciences, National Aeronautics and 
Space Administration. The lecturers speak 
for 45 to 50 minutes then answer the ques- 
tions of the campers. Most of the lecturers 
stay for several days to talk to the campers on 
a one to one basis. 

Campers are encouraged to hold seminars 
on the areas of science they have specialized 
in, but not all the seminars are on science 
related fields. One camper gave a seminar on 
cancer research, another gave his on the 
beauty of mathematics, and one camper gave 
one on Ireland and the Irish tradition in 
the US. 

The National Youth Science Camp was 
founded in 1963 as a part of West Virginia's 
Centennial Celebration. The camp honors 
the nation's outstanding science-oriented 
high school graduates. Says Camp Director 
Rodrick W. Wilson, "We try to let the 
campers share their knowledge of science 
with others." 

STARLOGGERS interested in finding out 
more about the National Youth Science 
Camp can write to them c/o State 
Capitol/ECD, Charleston, West Virginia 
25305. * 




14 STARLOG/j«u!H*s5- 1982 



I- 



KENNETH TOBY 
REVISITED 

This summer's release of John Carpen- 
ter's The Thing has brought renewed at- 
tention to actor Kenneth Tobey, star of 
Howard Hawks' 1951 production of the 
science fiction classic. Following his interview 
i STARLOG #62, Tobey was on a Los 
ingeles morning TV talk show with 
Carpenter's make-up effects magician Rob 
Bottin, attended a revival of Hawks' picture 
and a showing of Carpenter's version accom- 
enied by members of the original cast and 
crew, and appeared at his first fantasy film 
j convention. 

Writer Ted Newsom arranged for Tobey to 
see Carpenter's movie at a theater in the San 
Fernando Valley with fellow cast members 
Robert Cornthwaite, George Fenneman and 
William Self, and "director" Christian 
iyby. (As Tobey exclusively revealed in his 
■terview, it was actually Hawks who directed 
the earlier Thing, despite Nyby's screen 
credit.) "We all felt pretty much the same 
■bout it," Tobey says. "We agreed the 
special effects were marvelous and Carpenter 
has a great deal of talent, but we were disap- 
pointed that the human element seemed to be 
■sing." (For more of Tobey's comments 
■bout the new version, see page 69.) 

For the revival of Hawks' original on a 
double bill with Don Siegel's Invasion Of The 
Body Snatchers at a theater in Venice, 
California, Newsom arranged for the group 
» be joined by the husband and two 
daughters of the late Margaret Sheridan, (the 
actress, who played Tobey's love interest, 
died of cancer in early May 1982.) 
"Everybody enjoyed seeing each other," 
Tobey remembers, ' 'and we had a lot of fun. 
it was a packed house. We answered ques- 
tions from the audience, posed for 
photographs and signed a lot of autographs. 
They even had a cake with a flying saucer 
HKied in the frosting." 

Tobey especially enjoyed appearing at the 
Los Angeles Creation Convention in mid- 
Jnry. He brought along his friend, actor War- 
ren (Forbidden Planet) Stevens, and they ap- 
peared on a panel with Kevin (Body Snat- 
chers) McCarthy and director Jack (Incredi- 
ble Shrinking Man) Arnold, reminiscing 
about 1950s SF movies. 

"I liked it very much," Tobey comments. 
The fans were very enthusiastic and seemed 
to have a good time. They were amazingly 
knowledgeable. Most of their questions were 
quite intelligent, and they gave me photos to 
sign from movies I'd forgotten I'd made. I 
don't quite understand this sort of thing, 
though, or why these people are so crazy 
about all this stuff. Christ, there were even 
dealers there selling photos of me for $4.50 a 
piece. 

And how does Tobey react to his new- 
found notoriety? "It's a bit like what hap- 
pens when a well-known actor dies," he 
observes. "The press suddenly gives him 




Tobey (center) shows how to relieve an itch 
(right). 

glowing notices, which makes the public 
think about him for another minute— and 
that's about it. To be honest, it's enjoyable 
for a moment, but I know it won't last. After 
all, we made our picture over 30 years ago, so 
I don't expect any more plaudits for it. Now I 
have to do something new." 

Fortunately, if all goes well Tobey should 
have that chance. At the time of this interview 
in late July he was about to sign for a new 
science fiction feature entitled Strange In- 
vaders, which was scheduled to be produced 
in Toronto by Walter (Legend Of The Lone 
Ranger) Coblenz starting at the end of 
August. In a surprising switch for 



r/7/nfif-style to Bill Self (left) and Chris Nyby 

Hollywood's first 1950 SF hero, he's suppos- 
ed to play the leader of a group of aliens who _ 
took over a small town 30 years ago. "One of 
their people married a human" he explains, 
"and they had a baby. The aliens come back 
for the woman but they also want the child, 
and thereby hangs the tale." 

Despite his realization that his resurgent 
fame may be fleeting, Kenneth Tobey truly 
appreciates all the attention he's currently 
receiving. "You start out as a young man to 
be an actor, and it's nice to reach the point 
where you're revered a bit when you've put 
on a little mileage," he acknowledges. "It 
gives me a warm feeling." -ft 



,TA*tt*rS 



v&S* 



The Critics 
have gone 
Stark- Raving 

CRAZY 



W-rm 



Over John Stanley's 
CREA TURE EEA TURES 
MOVIE GUIDE, a film 

addicts nightmare of 
cinefantastique 



™ eB flri-SencVd 

^^foTiuen 
™ ef Ssotenc 



Mail to: 

CREATURES AT LARGE 
P.O. Box 687PO Pacifica, 
Calif. 94044 ^ 

, _^i._ 



P> 



Rush me 



copies of 



Creature Features Movie Guide 
at $8.95 per copy. I am in- 
cluding $2 postage and handl- 
ing per copy 

name 

Address _ 
City. 



State zip 



L. 



STARLOG/November 1982 15 



LOG ENTRIESr 



HAROLD T. "ODD 
SAKATA 
1920-1982 




To millions of James Bond fans he was 
known as Odd Job, the notorious 
bodyguard to Goldfinger, who, with the flick 
of his wrist and his razor-sharp bowler hat, 
dealt a fatal blow to anyone who tried to cross 
his path. 

Harold T. Sakata, the actor behind the 
famed character, died on July 29 in Honolulu 
at the age of 62. 

Sakata first gained the public's attention as 
a weightlifter and professional wresder. At 
the 1948 London Olympics, he tied for first 
place in the 181-pound weightlifting class. 

In the early 60s, Sakata, under the wrestl- 
ing name of Tosh Togo, was discovered by 
producer Harry Saltzman and director Guy 
Hamilton who signed him for Goldfinger in 
1964. * 



NO "BLADE" DISK 



any of you have been haunting your 
record stores these last months 
waiting for the arrival of the soundtrack 
album to Blade Runner. Well, you can stop 
your vigil, there won't be one. Due to the 
tight schedule composer Vangelis was faced 
with, he had no time to do a mix session for 
the album before he had to begin work on a 
new original album for which studio time had 
already been booked. As a result, Polygram 
dropped its plans to release the soundtrack. 
STARLOG readers entering our spectacular 
six-part contest should note that we will be 
substituting the Blade Runner contest prize 
(4th prize package) for a new album. V- 



"ET" VID GAMES, 

D&DFILM 

AND THATS NOT ALL 



ATARI, INC. was granted worldwide 
exclusive rights to both coin-operated 
and home video games based on Steven Spiel- 
berg's ET. According to an announcement 
by Atari, Spielberg will work on the develop- 
ment of the ET game. Said Raymond E. 
Kassar, Atari's chairman and chief executive 
officer, "Steven Spielberg, who is one of the 
most creative film makers, loves video games 
and we are enthusiastic over the prospect of 
working with him to bring the magic of £Tto 
the dynamic medium of video games." Atari 
says to expect an ET product for Christmas 
. . . FROM GAME TO THE BIG SCREEN 
goes TSR Hobbies Dungeons & Dragons. 
Toy and Hobby World reported that the 
popular role-playing game will go celluloid 
with a screenplay coming from James 
Goldman... J AMES BOND, agent 007, 
goes into his thirteenth screen adventure with 
Octopussy which began filming in England 
on August 12. The title comes from a collec- 
tion of short stories written by Ian Fleming 
that were published sometime after his death 
in 1964. Roger Moore returns as Bond; also 
starring is Maud Adams, who will be the first 
actress to play a female lead in more than one 
007 epic (her first appearance was in The Man 
With the Golden Gun). Actress Martine 
Beswick played two different supporting 
roles in From Russia With Love and 
Thunderball. . .ALSO BEGINNING PRO- 
DUCTION this month for a summer '83 
release is Jaws 3-D. The film is being made for 
Universal by the Alan Landsburg company 
and is filming on location at Florida's Sea 
World, the Florida Keys and San Diego's Sea 
World. The script is by Richard Matheson; 
no cast or budget has been announced . . . 
RUTGER HAUER has been cast as a 
reporter who discovered intrigue and murder 
during a "relaxing" weekend at his estate in 
The Osterman Weekend. Sam Peckinpah 
will direct this film version of the Robert 
Ludlum best-seller ... STRANGE 
BEHA VIOR received favorable critical 
notices during its release last year which en- 
couraged the new Orion Pictures to hire 
director Michael Laughlin to make Strange 
Invaders, an SF-thriller filming in Canada. 
Starring are Behavior veterans Fiona Lewis 
and Louise Fletcher. Joining them are Nancy 
Allen, Diana Scrawid and Paul LeMat . . . 
PACIFIC TELEPHONE has reissued its 
"Uncle Ralph" long-distance commercial 
since it became popular again thanks to its in- 
fluence on E.T. who watched it and got an 
idea to "phone home" . . . MIKE POST 
AND PETE CARPENTER, having scored 
big hits with their themes to Greatest 
American Hero, Magnum P.I. and Hill 
Street Blues, have now done the theme to 
Powers of Matthew Star . . . TUCKER'S 



WITCH is the new name for the recast, 
recreated CBS series The Good Witch of 
Laurel Canyon. The stars are now Tim 
(Animal House) Matheson and Catherine 
Hicks. They play a husband and wife detec- 
tive pair ala Nick and Nora Charles except 
that the wife has telepathic powers . . . HAL 
ROACH STUDIOS have acquired film 
rights to Stephen King's short story 
"Children of the Corn' ' from his Night Shift 




Gathering dust at the studios: A scene from 
Pandimonium (top) and Monster Club 
(above). 

collection. . . K4/?/£Tyrecently reported on 
the various films completed and collecting 
dust on the shelves at movie studios around 
California. For completists, here are the 
genre films: David Carradine's Safari 3000. 
Cindy William's Uforia, Pandemonium 
(formerly Thursday the 12th). Also, ITC's 
Hawk the Slayer with Jack Palance, and 
Milton Subotsky's Monster Club (both have 
already played on cable television), Billy Dee 
Williams' Com-TAc 303 and, finally, Wit- 
ches' Brew, a supernatural comedy with Teri 
Garr . . . MAGIC LANTERN, a production 
company created by actor Tom Skerritt, Joe 
Steinberger and Jeff Wald, has purchased 
rights to William Kotzwinkle's Fata 
Morgana, a mystery/fantasy. According to 
Ed Naha, "The story takes place in Paris, 
1861, and pits police inspector Pail Picard 
against a toymaker/mesmerist who may or 
may not be immortal." Readers may be 
familiar with Kotzwinkle's best-selling 
novelization of E. T. * 



16 ST ARLOG/ 'November 1982 



Behind The 
Genesis Effect 

A look at the computerized magic created for 
■The wrath of Khan" by the experts at industrial Light & Magic 




lisney's TRONhas been receiving a 
I great deal of well-deserved notice for 
its use of computer imagery on a 
grand scale in a feature motion picture. But 
another film this summer has made its own 
special mark among computer graphics art- 
ists, too. For Star Trek II— The Wrath of 
Khan, Jim Veilleux, co-supervisor of special 
photographic effects for the film, stepped 
from his office at George Lucas' Industrial 
Light and Magic facility next door to the 
computer graphics research facility, which is 
also part of the Lucas complex in San Rafael . 
Veilleux was aware that the computer 
graphics team was essentially involved in re- 
search and development as opposed to pro- 
duction, but he thought that the team mem- 
bers might be able to make an unusual contri- 
bution to the effects on Trek and at the same 
time advance their own research efforts. The 
sequence Veilleux had in mind for the young 



By DAVID HUTCHISON 

computer team involved the demonstration 
of the Genesis Effect that Kirk displays for 
himself, Spock, McCoy and, of course, the 
audience. 

Jim Veilleux explains what he had in mind: 
"The producers of the show wanted some 
way to demonstrate the terrible power of the 
Genesis Effect; the demonstration had to be'' 
of such a nature as to motivate Kirk setting 
off across space with a crew of raw trainees. It 
was important to convince the audience how 
powerful and potentially dangerous this Gen- 
esis Effect was and to cast the situation with a 
sense of urgency. 

"Originally, the script called for a small 
scale laboratory demonstration in which an 
inorganic block of matter would be trans- 
formed into a life form, such as a flower." 
But this demonstration just didn't have the 
dramatic impact to do the job required by the 
story. 



Merrick Buttrick and Bibi Besch check the final programming on the Genesis machine. 



"We discussed any number of alternative 
visualizations, but it was very difficult to 
come up with something that was visually in- 
teresting without being ludicrous. So like 
most people today with problems that are 
hard to visualize we thought that a computer 
graphics simulation might be the answer." 

Consider These 

Veilleux met with Ed Catmull, Alvy Ray 
Smith and Pat Cole— all members of Lucas' 
computer graphics research team — and 
asked them to consider doing the following 
scenes for the Genesis Effect demonstration 
sequence: 

1 — A molecule sequence showing the trans- 
formation from crystalline inorganic mole- 
cules to DNA-type organic molecules, illus- 
trating the Genesis Effect in something of a 
"schematic" form. 
2 — A planet size demo, showing the transfor- 

PHOTG PARAMOUNT 1982 






1. Genesis projectile heads for deserted moon. 



2. Impact and shock wave. 





5. Firestorm raging around planet. 



■ v 



6. Entire surface becomes molten. 



4 !&3$:i3pv 





9. Seas and greenery develops. 



10. Valleys deepen and mountain tops whiten. 



18 STARLOC/November 1982 



ITHE GENESIS EFFECT 




3. Firestorm starts. 




7. Cooling process begins. 





11. Camera begins to zoom away into space. 



12. Finished planet— computer painting by Chris Evans. 



STARLOG/ 'November 1982 19 




The Genesis lab in all its glory. The interlocking triangular panels and spheres are reminiscent of the Krell Lab. 



mation of a dead planet— cratered, airless 
and desolate — into a lush growing world 
complete with atmosphere vegetation, water, 
etc. 

3 — A voice recognition sequence for positive 
identification of Captain Kirk, that would 
gain him access to the Genesis Effect demo. 
4 — A retina recognition sequence for further 
identification. 

Alvy Smith suggested that the molecule se- 
quence be turned over to Bob Langridge of 
UCSF, who had already created a computer 
graphics simulation of DNA molecular 
bonding. Veilleux contacted Langridge and 
the squence was created by manipulating the 
program that Langridge had on hand. Para- 
mount dropped the voice recognition se- 
quence early on, leaving ILM with sequences 
two and four. It was decided to keep the ret- 
ina sequence as simple as possible and focus 
the real razzle dazzle on sequence two — the 
Genesis Effect demo. 

It started out fairly simply. The story- 
boards called for a very simple sequence of 
moving in on a Moon-like planet, firing the 
torpedo and having fiery energy form shock 
waves over the surface of the planet. Then 
after a white-out transition, the camera 
moves across the surface of the planet and 
pulls back to reveal the finished surface. "It 
started as a fairly simple shot," recalls 
Veilleux, "but once people like Alvy Smith 
and Loren Carpenter got into it, they came up 
with ideas of their own. The Lucasfilm com- 
puter research team is not just a group of pro- 
grammers, these people are very gifted de- 



signers and artists in their own right. So it was 
very natural to expect them to embellish the 
sequence and in the end they made it just that 
much more interesting." 

A Prepared Audience 

And embellish they did. Alvy Carpenter 
believed that audiences had become quite fa- 
miliar with the JPL planetary flybys that had 
been generated by James Blinn at JPL and 
shown frequently on national television as 
part of the news media's coverage of the Jupi- 
ter and Saturn Voyager flybys. And that, 
therefore, they would be ready for something 
more complicated. 

"The full idea," explains Carpenter, "was 
that our imaginary camera would be attached 
to an imaginary spacecraft approaching the 
dead, Moon-like planet from below. It would 
then swing about the planet in a parabolic tra- 
jectory near its surface, while the on-board 
camera would execute a large spiraling move 
to portray departure from the planet 'upside 
down' — i.e. from above. 

"As the spacecraft approaches the dead 
planet, it fires a sperm-shaped projectile at its 
surface to bring it to life and then flies over 
the resulting "chaos" and eventual moun- 
tain-building process. The portion of the tra- 
jectory near the planet lasts long enough and 
is close enough to show off Loren 
Carpenter's mountain-building program on 
its surface and then pulls away revealing a live 
Earth-like planet." 

Jim Veilleux was pleased with this idea, but 
still the plan developed further. "The princi- 



ple alteration when I presented the plan to the 
rest of the graphics team was to invert the 
camera move so that we approached the 
planet from above and departed from below. 
There was quite a bit of debate as to whether 
this motion was too dramatic or not. I argued 
that what would be happening on the surface 
was so overwhelming that the long twisting 
camera move would only be icing on the cake 
for those who chose to notice." 

The entire flight path was tested in black 
and white vector graphics (black and white 
outlines) to preview the speed and determine 
the length of the sequence. The next step was 
to develop full raster graphics— texture, light- 
ing, color, etc. 

Veilleux picks up the story. "The work was 
split up between eight people who worked on 
the sequence over a period of five months. Of 
course, most of that time was spent develop- 
ing techniques that they did not have." 
Among the requirements to produce this se- 
quence were: a texture mapping program, a 
paint program, a compositing program for 
combining elements, motion-blurring pro- 
grams, and so on. Many of these programs 
were already in development. One of the 
most interesting programs is a technique that 
Loren Carpenter has been working on that 
deals with a branch of mathematics called 
fractals. Working with fractals he has been 
able to produce some startlingly realistic 
landscapes, entirely with mathematics. You 
can see his mountains in the middle of the se- 
quence. They are created strictly mathemati- 
cally inside the computer without any visual 



20 STARLOG/November 1982 



reference at all. In fact, everything in the se- 
quence is mathematically generated with the 
exception of the final shot of the finished 
planet which is a computer painting by Chris 
Evans." 

Who Did What 

The project was broken down and tasks 
were assigned. Tom Duff did the cratering 
program, Pat Cole generated the projectile, 
Bill Reeves came up with a fire-rendering pro- 
gram, Loren created the fractal mountains, 
Loren and Pat worked together on the shock 
wave, Rob Cook and Tom Duff colored and 
texture-mapped the planet, Tom Porter de- 
veloped the paint program and Loren worked 
on the star field. 

Incidentally, the stars are not just random 
points of light. That star field was developed 
from the Yale Bright Star Catalog of 9100 vis- 
ible stars. ' 'Loren converted the data base in- 
to xyz coordinates and deduced the colors of 
the individual stars," says Smith. "He had 
the notion of choosing a location for the Gen- 
esis planet in a part of the heavens which 
would place recognizable constellations in the 
background. He and I perused one of my as- 
tronomy books and came up with the five 
nearest stars for which there is some hope of 
having planetary systems. For one of these, 
Epsilon Indi, Loren determined that the Big 
Dipper would be visible in a form not too dis- 
torted from our Earth view of it. Further- 
more, our Sun would appear as an extra star 
close to this constellation!" 

Now, of course, as far as Paramount was 
concerned it wasn't necessary for the stars to 
be accurate, but the Lucasfilm computer 
graphics team is a research and development 
group and they have the luxury of being able 
to take the time to please themselves as well as 
merely deliver the goods. 

With the flight trajectory settled on, Bill 
Reeves' fire-rendering program developed 
and Loren's fractal landscapes working well, 
Alvy Smith was still having problems with the 
"chaos" scene. Smith knew that he wanted to 
use Bill Reeves' fire-storm program, but 
how...? 

"I sat down with Loren to brainstorm a so- 
lution," Smith recounts. "We did away with 
the exploding volcanoes idea and came up 
with the notion of an expanding ring of fire 
which would spread like a prairie fire from 
the point of impact, melting the surface of the 
planet in its wake. I added the notion of losing 
the fire for a moment behind the limb of the 
planet, because of the camera move, and then 
having it dramatically reappear, very close 
and very large, swooping across the screen 
conveying great heat and fury — enough to 
melt a planet. Loren suggested using this rac- 
ing wall of fire to sweep our attention across 
the planet in a swooping pan to the mountain- 
building portion. This was to be our transi- 
tion sequence. It required Loren's adding a 
fire indication to his flightpath program to 
allow us to choreograph the spread of the fire 
and time its sudden reappearance from be- 
hind the limb of the planet. As it turned out, 
Bill required a quite complex 10-step matting 
process, using Tom Porter's matting pro- 
gram, to achieve the desired effect. 



"Loren solidified the fractal sequence into 
its final form — a cooling of the red hot liquid 
surface caused by the wall of fire, cooling 
through the yellows, reds, oranges, to gray, 
while the mountain began to grow through 
the haze which was created by the fire. This 
haze would later become the atmosphere of 
our final Earth-like planet. The imaginary 
spacecraft was speeding at 50,000 to 100,000 
miles per hour across this forming surface. As 
the mountains reached their final altitude 
(Everest-like) oceans rose to sandy shores, 
greens spread across valleys and slopes and 
snow appeared on the peaks. Rob Cook sup- 
plied the color coordinates of these natural 
elements and found atmospheric models 
from which Loren later derived his atmo- 
sphere generation program." 

Painting Computer-Style 

Months of work was finally coming to- 
gether in the early months of 1982. The se- 
quence was to be finished by March 19. Sev- 
eral tests had been shot and shown to both 
Jim Veilleux and producer Bob Sallin, who 
were pleased with the progress and offered 
encouragement. With final touch ups and 
tweakings underway to complete the se- 
quence — motion blurring, coloring and other 
program refinements — it came time to call in 
the ILM matte artists to unveil Tom Porters' 
computer paint program. 

The paint program is a wonder of flexi- 
bility and ingenuity. Sitting at a computer 
tablet an artist can "paint" electronically on- 
to a video screen. The Lucasfilm paint pro- 
gram enables the artists to select different 
types and styles of brushes and brush tech- 
niques or even air brush. Using the computer 
tablet, the artist can work in water colors, or 
oil technique, or dry brush, or even finger 
paint. You can do Chinese brush effects, flat 
brush, round brush, scumble. . .and 
there is the color pallette. The paint program 
enables the user to select something like 
16,000,000 different colors. A good micro- 
computer system might supply 256 colors, 
but the Lucasfilm program leaps far beyond 



that. 

ILM matte artist Chris Evans tackeled the 
job of painting an Earth-like texture map at 
the computer, which was then mapped, using 
Tom Duffs program, onto the surface of a 
sphere to create the final live planet. 

The completed sequence is a masterpiece of 
computer graphics art, complex moves, 
thousands of colors, smooth lines and shad- 
ings (no "aliasing" — stair-steppy or jagged 
lines). Graduated shaded ramps along the 
lines eliminate the "j aggies." The final film- 
ing was done by a crew from ILM using the 
Empireflex Vista Vision camera. ILM wanted 
to simualte a videotape effect so the Evans 
and Sutherland monitor was over-focused to 
make the raster lines stand out. 

Today the Computer Graphics team is 
hard at work with the hardware staff (headed 
by Rodney Stock and including Gary New- 
man and Adam Levinthal) designing the Pix- 
ar — the Lucasfilm digital printer. The Pixar is 
really more of a picture computer than a digi- 
tal printer. Loren Carpenter explains, "Once 
the Pixar digitizes a frame of film, we can go 
in and combine images, hand paint, change 
shapes . . . tasks far removed from the simple 
matting and printing chores of the standard 
optical printer." David DiFrancesco is con- 
structing the laser scanner input/output de- 
vices, which will enable the team to work at 
very high resolutions. 

What do all of these new tools mean to the 
artist, animator or filmmaker? Alvy Smith is 
quick to point out that the new computer 
hardware and software systems are tools. 
"Computers don't paint, artists paint." 
Computers don't replace people, they require 
people. These new tools are the hope of fu- 
ture filmmakers to bring down the ever-esca- 
lating cost of high quality production and en- 
abling more work to be produced for less 
money with even greater production value. 
They are the tools of tomorrow, but like any 
tool they require the human mind to operate 
them. As designer Alvy Smith puts it, "Com- 
puters create the motion, we create the emo- 
tion." * 




Special effects supervisor Jim Veilleux next to the VistaVision camera. 



STARLOG/ZVovemte/- 1982 21 



FAN SCENE f 



write-in write Now! 



In recent months, Haley's Comet Rendes- 
vouz, Venus Orbiting Imaging Radar, 
Voyager and other space efforts have 
been killed, while a massive "defense" 
budget was plumped with even more mega- 
bucks. Few politicians in Washington seem to 
understand (or care) that a strong U.S. space 
effort is a defense more powerful than any 
number of already-obsolete bombers being 
constructed right now at huge expense to us 
taxpayers! Without getting into discussions 
about "keeping the military out of 
space"— which even JPL discovered was im- 
possible—we citizens must make Congress 
and the President aware that we demand a 
space budget healthy enough to assure that 
future projects do not get killed summarily! 
We are voters, or will be voters soon, and 
we can make a difference. The National Rifle 
Association keeps bills from passing, because 
at any given moment of any given day, some- 
one from the NRA is writing a pressure letter 
to Congress! Can we do any less? I hope not. 
Can we do more? You'd better believe it! At 
one time, in January 1980, space-support let- 
ters ran second only to the NRA ; this at a time 
when the veterans were massing their pressure 
groups, and the tobacco lobby was feeling en- 
dangered! If we could do it once, we should 
be able to match that again ... and again . 

Awareness of our space effort problems is 
growing slowly, but a write-in at a con or club 
meeting could help educate fans to the need 
of keeping a letter campaign going . A write-in 
project is fun and easy; it also serves to make 
fans think, even the ones who would not or 
could not stop at the convention. Some of the 
fans who take flyers home may become the 
greatest write-in enthusiasts, so while you 
may never know how many people are 
reached with the write-in effort, that one peb- 
ble in the pond could ripple out a long, way. 
People who mouth platitudes without 
thinking usually bring up "how can you sup- 
port spending all that money in space when 
there are people starving here. . .?" First, 
very little of the space budget goes to space; 
the greatest part is spent here, in salaries. Sec- 
ond, how would the tiny space budget help 
feed or clothe the poor, when the Department 



of Health and Welfare (HEW) consistently 
loses to fraud and inefficiency alone more 
than the annual space budget? Back the ques- 
tioner in a corner by demanding an explana- 
tion of how another billion or so thrown into 
the HEW hole will aid anyone. Then point 
out how space efforts are helping nations 
predict crop failures, weather changes and 
other things which will make lives better than 
if we'd handed money to politicians to waste! 
One way to make people more aware of the 
need to write letters about saving the space 
budget is to hold a write-in at a local conven- 
tion, club or college campus. Of course, the 
following plans can be adjusted to write 
about consumer complaints, etc., but I hope 
you will not destroy the impact of a good 
write-in when we need it by wasting this effort 
on trivial subjects. Save your write-in energies 
for the really serious things. 

The reason for holding a write-in can be as 
general as a "save the space budget" cam- 
paign, which always needs boosting, or as 
specific as supporting or defeating a new bill 
or measure. Whatever the reason, have all 
your facts straight, and have them ready for 
anyone who asks: the number of the bill, who 
put it up, the committee studying it, who is or 
is not suppoting it, and why. Have addresses 
of everyone involved, including the White 
House, and all your local Congressmen, too. 
Your local space advocates, such as the L-5 
Society chapter, can give you info on political 
ramifications; your library information ser- 
vice (just ask\) and all the voters' leagues, tax- 
payers organizations, etc., can often help. 
Your newspaper should have these phone 
numbers. If any of the key Congressmen in- 
volved are from your area or state, call their 
local office and get information from their 
people, too. The addresses will be placed by 
each typewriter at the write-in too, so they are 
very important. 

After you've got all the facts together, the 
next step is finding a site. Clubs might use a 
private home, a civic organization meeting 
hall, or a campus area. For conventions, you 
might talk the committee into letting you 
have a table or two (or three) somewhere, or 
even a whole room. The best areas have plen 




ty of space for milling around, so crammed 
between dealers' tables in a crowded Dealers' 
Room is not ideal. However, if that's all you 
get, take it and make the most of it. At some 
conventions, it may be feasible for several 
fans to rent a large sleeping room or suite and 
hold the write-in there. In that case, round up 
as many lap-boards (even clean kitchen cut- 
ting boards) or artists' sketch boards for peo- 
ple who can sit on beds and express them- 
selves in handwriting. Set up card tables to 
hold typers. 

Borrow typewriters and place them 
(whenever possible) so that people can sit on 
both sides of the table, to write their letters. 
We found that most people need elbow room 
so a standard eight-foot table will hold four 
typers, two to a side, without invading 
anyone's territory. Naturally, you also need 
chairs for the typists, as well as a chair at each 
end of the table, if space allows, for adding a 
few handwriters, too. 

Space can often be found at conventions 
near the Registration area, in wide halls (hotel 
permitting) or near the space exhibit. Your 
convention does have a space exhibit, right? 
In any case, at least one table is necessary for a 
convention write-in; don't have too many 
tables at a small con or attendees will feel you 
expect all their time to be spent writing letters! 
Now you need something to write on. Busi- 
nesses often have stationery and envelopes 
from a former address that they'd be willing 
to donate. An address label over the old ad- 
dress takes care of the problem for our use, 
though it isn't very "classy" for business use. 
Be sure to have a small sign placed on the 
table or wall, thanking everyone who 
donated something. To obtain future dona- 
tions, it is very good publicity to take a photo 
of the sign, with the donors displayed, and 
send the pictures along with your "thank 
you" note. Everyone likes to be appeciated. 
Beware the scrounger who wants to take 
home a handful of your paper and envelopes 
"to mail out later;" explain the name of the 
game is to write a letter on the spot and sorry, 
but they cannot carry supplies away from the 
table. 

Stamps should be on hand; everyone must 
buy a stamp for their envelope unless you 
have a very generous donor who supplies you 
with a roll of stamps. We put 20 stamps at a 
time in an open box, with $1.50 in small 
change, for people to take their own stamps 
and make their own change. Your volunteers 
should keep checking the box, and remove 
any bills, as well as change over the $1.50. 
NEVER leave a bill in the box! 

We offered drawings for prizes to people 
who took the time to write letters at a conven- 
tion. This accomplished two things: we got 
the letters, thereby making sure the letters 



were mailed and not lost enroute home from 
the con, and we made sure the envelopes were 
stamped (ones which were not stamped were 
not included in the drawing). It takes a bit 
more work to drum up prizes, but there are 
several ways to do it, and it can be quite 
rewarding, all around. 

One way to obtain prizes is to write the 
publicity department of studios, asking for 
any posters, photos or whatever they can 
send; this has to be done on letterhead sta- 
tionery (ask the convention for help here, if 
necessary) because otherwise the studio can- 
not tell if you are in earnest about a Good 
Cause or just another private collector. Be 
sure to send a "thank you" — you'll be 
remembered for your next write-in because 
not many people thank the studios for 
anything. 

Write also the aerospace industries for 
posters and other materials, again using let- 
terhead stationery, and explaing what you are 
doing. They stand to benefit, after all. And 
these companies have some incredible stuff to 
share, if asked for it. 

Local merchants can be asked for dona- 
tions; remember you don't need a TV set (it 
would be nice, but . . . ) and a couple of coffee 
mugs, colored pens, tote bags, etc. , would be 
very nice. Restaurants could offer hot fudge 
sundaes for four, or some other donation 
toward convention survival. A full dinner for 
one would certainly bring in at least one and 
probably more fans. Again, be certain these 
donors are well-announced at the con; if done 
well ahead of time, you could likely get them 
mentioned in the program book, so you'd 
have a copy of that to deliver to each pleased 
merchant, after the convention. 

People in the Dealers' Rooms are often 
willing to donate prizes, especially if you are 
going to announce loudly (and often) where 
those prizes came from. Everyone wins: the 
dealers get their generosity applauded, and 
the fans get nice prizes. 

Depending on how many and the type of 
prizes, they could be divided to give out small 
ones in frequent drawings. How frequent 
depends on how long your convention runs 
and how many prizes you have to give out 
over that time-period, of course. Don't forget 
to close off the drawings at least two hours 
before the convention ends, or those last 
prizes will cost you postage to mail to the win- 
ners, and keeping the 'write-in' expense-free 
is important. You can give larger prizes as 
daily prizes, and if you have a really grand 
prize, it might be an overall drawing of all the 
winners, or go to the person who wrote the 
most letters, etc. 

Display, when possible, the prizes, with 
signs, telling who donated them and how to 
win one of these nifty goodies . This is a ' 'sell- 
ing point" for many fans who would not 
otherwise stop at a busy con and write a letter. 

Have a large cardboard box into which you 
place the letters. This is also what you use for 
the drawings: prize-winners are the return ad- 
dressee! 

Tape addresses for the letter-writers to use 



By Bjo Trimble 

on the table, next to each typer. The flyers 
advertising your 'write-in' project should be 
all over the convention, and in the registra- 
tion packet. Those flyers should also have 
pertinent addresses listed, plus the ' : 'how to" 
rules for writing letters, so fans who don't 
open their con packet until they get home can 
still write some letters. Post the flyers 
anywhere it's legal in the hotel to gain atten- 
tion to the 'write-in.' 

Ask the Master of Ceremonies and any 
other announcer to use between-program 
time to announce the write-in project, and 
where the table is. If there is any really 
"dead" time (embarrassing for most MCs, 
because they don't have much to fill in time 
until the guest finally arrives), have a 3x5 card 
listig all the prizes to be given out in the draw- 
ings; it will get read at least once each day that 
way. Unless the MC has a list of announce- 
ments, be sure to send a gentle reminder every 
now and then about the write-in. 

Have a small collection of felt-tip and ball- 
point pens for those who want to hand-write 
their letters. Again, watch for people walking 
off with your materials; they will need a pen 
"just for a minute" in some other room, and 
that'll be the last of that pen! 

Volunteers to help man the table are ab- 
solutely necessary. You need people to help 
guard the typers, and be sure to have some- 
one to relieve you for breaks and meals, 
without closing the table, and possibly lose 
fans who were willing to letter-write during 
slack times in programming. At least four 
volunteers per day will give you all a chance to 
attend programming, and still not be too tired 
to attend the after-program parties! Each 
volunteer should go over the con schedule, 
picking out programs, and then you can ar- 
range a firm schedule of table-watching 
around everyone's wishes. Try to get sincere 
space enthusiasts for volunteers who will 
return when they promise to do so, and will 
give you more cheerful help than you thought 
possible. 

Make arrangements with the convention to 
store typers overnight with the films or some 
other safeguarded place. A tableful of 
valuable machines is a very strong tempta- 
tion, and hotel employees often leave doors 
open while they clean public rooms. Remove 
the stamps and coin box, too, of course. If the 
room is guarded or locked, the rest of the 
material can be left in place for next day. 

Don't fall for the "I don't know what to 
say, don't you have something I can just 
sign? ' ' because letters which seem to be mass- 
produced are not effective. It is far too easy 
for only a handful of people to sign a lot of 
letters and mail them in. Each person should 
write a personal letter, even if it is as simple as 
"speaking as a voter, I'd like for you to give 
the space budget more money. Very sincerely 
yours. ..." 

For studios, networks and other large 
businesses, my letter- writing advice was to 
write on white typing paper, mailing the let- 
ters in business-sized #10 envelopes. But that 
(continued on page 96) 



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ST ARLOG/ 'November 1982 23 



The secret Force Behind 

"The Greatest American 

Hero" 



Superheroes have always met with 
mixed results on television and accor- 
ding to critics it's because the net- 
works have never known how to handle 
them. Such stalwart types as Superman, Bat- 
man, Green Hornet, Captain America, Dr. 
Strange and the Hulk have come and gone 
with nary a lasting impression. So why did 
Stephen J. Cannell choose to do a superhero 
after a long succesful run with The Rockford 
Files'? 

Change of pace and variety, he replied in 
early 1981. Cannell contended that 
superheroes have handled emergencies 
without considering the effect on their 
"civilian" lives. Cannell wanted to do things 
differently so he created a superhero who 
would have all those mundane problems plus 
a few others — including not knowing the full 
extent of his powers. 




Producer Frank Lupo laughs at a joke made 
by one of his coworkers. Opposite: William 
Katt as Ralph Hinkley, world's most reluctant 
superhero. 

In spring of 1981, Cannell presented ABC 
with his new project and the network, in 
desperate need of spring replacement shows, 
ordered up Greatest American Hero as a 
series before the pilot was aired. A hero was 
born. With some witty writing, a solid cast 
and favorable time slot behind it, the show 
garnered successful ratings and good reviews. 
As it went into summer repeats (with only the 
pilot and seven hour-long shows), the theme 
song, by Mike Post and Pete Carpenter, went 
to the number two spot on the nation's record 
charts. 

ABC picked up GAH for a full 1981-82 
season , leaving it in the Wednesday s at 8 p . m . 
slot. The show performed only moderately 
well, against Real People, but racked ratings 

24 STARLOC/November 1982 



By ROBERT GREENBERGER 

good enough to avoid cancellation. As the 
network formulated plans for the new 
season, premiering September 27, GAITs 
fate was up in the air — the day before the net- 
work announced its new schedule, The 
Hollywood Reporter was reporting that the 
show was to be cancelled. Not so: the show 
was picked up with an order for 13 episodes 
and a new timeslot, Fridays at 9 p.m. 

The changes don't bother the show's cur- 
rent production team, consisting of producer 
Frank Lupo, story editor Patrick Hasburgh 
and staff writer Babs Greyhoskey. In fact, the 
three feel with the new time slot, they can get 
the audience they want — a cross-section of 
America relying heavily on the youth and 
young adult categories. 

Sitting in Lupo's office at the Paramount 
Pictures lot, where GAH is filmed, the trio 
was anxious to discuss the show and their 
hopes for the new season. 

Lupo, a former New Yorker, and Grey- 
hoskey are proof positive that breaking into 
Hollywood is not always as hard as legend has 
it. "I was probably out here about a year 
when I got an agent. I floated around a while 
and met some people early on," Lupo says 
from behind his desk. One of the first people 
he met was Juanita Bartlett, Cannell' s pro- 
duction partner and co-creator of GAH. 

With her advice and help from some other 
people he had met, Lupo landed a job with 
Glen A. Larson working on Battlestar Galac- 
tica and then producing Galactica 1980. "It 
was basically a second go-round," Lupo ex- 
plains wistfully. "Really, the series was se- 
cond generation and I don't think the series 
would have been as hard, but the rigors of 
television production made it as such. We 
had to gear up and get rolling quickly, that 
was one of those situations where we got the 
show back on the air and we were told [by 
ABC] to start airing in four weeks instead of 
the usual four months." 

From Universal and Larson, Lupo joined 
Cannell's team for the full season of GAH. 
He contributed seven scripts, and has since 
become the show's producer. It was Lupo 
who last spring thought of hiring Greyhoskey 
away from Magnum P.I. 

Smiling pleasantly and frequently, 
Greyhoskey explains, "I was a writer on 
Magnum P.I. from the time it started to the 
end of last season. That was my first job. My 
breaking into the business was very similar to 
Frank's. We always laughed about how it 
happened for us. They sound like crazy 
stories, but it came very easily. I started off as 
a production secretary, working at Universal, 
and then was promoted to writer." 



With a laugh, she admits that most televi- 
sion writers she knows don't have time to 
watch much TV. However she watched GAH 
whenever possible because she knew Cannell 
and was friends with Lupo. When the GAH 
team approached her about joining them, she 
began watching more intently. Before writing 
her first script, Greyhoskey screened several 
hours of the show and read numerous scripts. 
(She had turned in her second script just prior 
to this interview, in mid- July.) 

Greyhoskey prefers people-oriented 
scripts, which comprise about half the GAH 
episodes. "I feel the action/ adventure is 
something I have to work at a lot more. I tend 
to put more concentration into the human 
side of the story because I think that, 
regardless of the flash and dash that's on the 
screen, it's the human side of it that the au- 
dience is really watching." 

"We have what we consider two different 
types of shows," Lupo adds. "We try and 
juggle the two as much as possible. We have 
the 'Operation Spoilsport' [which Lupo 
wrote] kind of show with great guns and the 
world is ending and the clock is ticking and 
missiles are going to devastate the Earth. It's 
real, real tough to be concerned with grading 
papers, so when we go for that kind of situa- 
tion, we try and thread the needle. 

"Then you have the other type of show, 
like 'Dreams,' which is where Ralph was try- 
ing to help the people in the teacher's lunch 
room; or 'There's No Accounting,' where he 
was being audited, where his life gets 
devastated by the normal trappings. Ob- 
viously when we're doing the latter type of 
show, we deal more with his problems. 

' 'That's what I think makes the series work 
so well," Lupo adds. "I mean, if we can find 
the blend, the mixture of human elements 
and high adventure— I think Steve did a 
wonderful job with that in the '200 Mile an 
Hour Fastball.' That was a very large situa- 
tion and he still managed to work in the kids 
and Ralph's relationship with them." 

When asked about writing for favorite 
characters, Lupo immediately responds, 
"Yosemite Sam. No, I'll tell you. The three 
people we've got are an awful lot of fun and 
they're three terrific actors, so we're dealing 
with some people that we really, really like to 
write for. They're very diverse characters — 
certainly Ralph Hinkley and Bill Maxwell, 
Maxwell relating to Pam Davidson. I just 
have fun writing with all of them." 

To story editor Patrick Hasburgh, each 
character represents something special. 
Hasburgh joined Cannell when the series was 
first picked up by ABC and has written 



several episodes including this season's 
opener, "Divorce Venusian Style." 

' ' Maxwell reminds me a little bit of my dad 
—he's this guy with a lot of integrity and may 
be somewhat of a dinosaur, left behind," 
Hasburgh explains. "To him, right and 
wrong are very clear cut. Hinkley is a little bit 
more of the generation we've all come from, 
where he sees things aren't always black and 
white. Nothing really makes that much sense 
to him. Then you put them together with a 
woman like Pamela Davidson, who is cer- 
tainly not an activist or radical when it comes 
to being a feminist, but she certainly knows 
it's time for women to get theirs. She likes to 
be heard all the time. 

"You have Maxwell saying, 'This is the 
way to do it.' Hinkley saying, 'I'm not sure 
there's any way to do it.' And Pam saying, 
'Wait a minute. / know the way to do it.' 
That's really a fun thing to play off of." 

The character interrelations will be 
heightened in the coming season, Lupo says. 
One of the elements to Hasburgh' s opening 
episode is a deeper look at the Max- 
well/Hinkley relationship. 

' 'The biggest change, ' ' Lupo says, "is that 
Ralph and Pam will probably get married. 
We felt that setting up that type of situation 
will help us build in more of the type of prob- 
lems of the average person. We have Pam liv- 
ing crosstown so we must constantly swing by 
and pick her up, bring her in and we had to 
deal with situations with Ralph not showing 



up to certain social functions at a distance. 
Now, it's going to be much harder for Pam to 
have people over or something like that and 
have Ralph come swinging in through the 
back window in red leotards." 

Marilyn Beck, syndicated columnist, 
reported in July that Robert Culp would not 
appear in all 13 episodes and that the quartet 
of high school students may also be absent. 
"I read the same thing," Lupo laughs. "And 
I called Bill and spoke with him and it must 
have been a misquote because he will be a part 
of all the episodes." 

As for the students, Lupo clarifies, 
"Although they won't be in every case, just 
like they weren't this year, they will be back. 
The same kids will be back unless something 
unforseen happens." 

Lupo likes to quote supervising producer 
Jo Swerling when queried about the actors 
looking older than their high school 
characters. "I think very rarely have the kids 
on television been near their own age. Our 
kids will be in school and obviously we'll ex- 
pand their lives. Tony or Rhonda may 
graduate or drop out, but it'll be just a year 
later." [Winds:round] 

One continuity sore point last season was 
the sudden disappearance of Kevin, Ralph's 
son and the object of a custody case. As the 
show went into production, Lupo says, it was 
felt that everyone would be better without the 
character . ' ' When you' re dealing with kids , " 
he says, "you're dealing with only a certain 




Story editor Patrick Hasburgh 



number of hours in a day. He has school and 
you're dealing with a welfare worker on the 
set and the child's mother and it just got in the 
way of production, to the point where we 
couldn't handle it. 

"We were moving very fast last year and 
we thought, 'How do we explain it? Do we 
explain it? Will the audience accept it? ' When 
we first lost him after a number of episodes 
we intended on bringing him back at certain 
points. This season there will probably be an 
explanation since we will be dealing a little 
more with Ralph and Pam's domestic life." 
(Continued on page 64) 



Fromleft:WilliamKattasRalphHink,ey,^^ 

that make writing for the show an entertaining experience. 




26 STARLOG/November 1982 



STARLOG INTERVIEW 



Peter Barton 

"The Powers of Matthew Star" 



By SUSAN ADAMO 



It was a part for which most young actors 
edging their way through the 
Hollywood door would have given 
their eyeteeth. Casting called for a 
young man to portray a high 
school student who is descended 
from an extraterrestrial royal family, 
with powers aplenty and a temporary' 
home — called Earth — on which to test 
them. 

For Peter Barton the auditions came 
at the wrong time. He had just wrap- 
ped the feature film Hell Night, with 
Linda Blair, and was hoping to take a 
month-long break from acting. At 
the insistence of his agent, however, 
Barton flew to Los Angeles to test 
for the part. His first impression, 
garnered after reading just two 
scenes, was that the premise seemed 
"farfetched." 

STARLOG spoke with the 25-year- 
old actor in July at NBC-TV's New 
York offices. At that time, Barton had 
completed the 13th episode as the title 
character in The Powers of Matthew 
Star, and was eager to talk about the many- 
events that transpired since his last ap- 
pearance in our magazine (STARLOG #52) , 
including his much-publicized accident 
while filming on location, his 
philosophies on his profes- 
sion and the changes 
made in the show p^* 

and his character l|p 

since the first 
pilot was filmed 
over a year 
ago. 



The original 






w* 




\ 




1 



\ 



pilot dealt with me not knowing I 

was from another planet or an 

alien," Barton begins. "It was sort 

of a psychological show where 

I thought I was going crazy 

because I was reading 

people's minds and moving 

objects. My guardian at 

that time (played by 

Gerald S. O'Laughlin) 

was not going to let me 

know where I came 

from and what was going 

on. He was hoping that 

I wasn't going to 

develop my powers, but 

it looked like I was, 

and that was the 

premise of the show. 

"The basic 

storyline is staying the 

same: that I'm from 

another planet, that my 

planet was invaded 

by aliens, my 

father was killed, 

my mother 

escaped, and I 

escaped with my 

guardian to come 

to Earth in 





In "Experiments," Matthew Star receives telepathic pleas for help from dolphins. 



order to train and develop my powers. Walt 
Shepard (Lou Gossett, Jr.) was supposedly 
my father's best friend and my father en- 
trusted me to him and meanwhile sacrificed 
himself so we could escape. The thing now is 
that I've always known I was from another 
planet and now it's more like 'the force,' 
where I'm training and developing my 
powers." 

According to the series' overall storyline, 
when Star has his powers perfected he will be 
picked up via spaceship and reclaim his 
rightful place on his planet, called Quadris. 
Just when will that be? "It's in Quadrian 
time," Barton laughs. "It says, 'In the year 
dadadadada Quadrian time.' So who knows 
when that is?" 

Barton on "Jackal" 

In a short time the conversation turns to 
"Jackal," the new pilot episode which kicked 



off the series this TV season. It was on 
November 12, 1981, while filming "Jackal," 
that Barton received severe burns on his 
body. It is a topic which Barton himself br- 
ings up. 

"It's just something that happened," he 
shrugs, "like a car accident. Some people 
may have trouble talking about some things, 
but I think the more I got involved in acting, 
the more I can talk about basically all those 
things that might have been hard to talk 
about. 

"We were doing the pilot episode and they 
were using magnesium flares in the scene. 
Lou has been kidnapped by an alien [Judson 
Phoenix Scott] and he's brought to this 
junkyard. It's a trap for me. The alien calls 
out and says, T have your guardian. Figure 
out where he is or I'm going to kill him.' So, I 
get to the junkyard and I'm looking for him 
and communicating telepathically with him. 



He's telling me to be careful while I'm look- 
ing for him. 

"Meanwhile, this guy, the villain, is corall- 
ing me. He's forcing me into this area with all 
these flares. Finally I get there and Lou's tied 
to a chair. They had set up four flares around 
the chair and he was in the center. I run into 
the scene, he tells me it's a trap and I start un- 
tying him .... 

"The minute I ran into the scene and 
started untying him, they lit the flares. In this 
version, I grabbed the chair, took one step 
back and just tripped and fell on top of the 
flares and that was it." 

Barton's first instinct, and not the correct 
one he warns, was to hit the floor and try to 
smother himself out. Hector Figueroa, direc- 
tor of photography and a burn victim once 
himself, immediately took control of the 
situation, clearing the space around the 
young actor and reassuring him, while ripp- 
ing the burning clothes from his body. 

From the auto wrecking yard in San Fer- 
nando, where the scene was being shot, Bar- 
ton was taken to the Los Angeles County 
USC Medical Center's burn ward, then to the 
Sherman Oaks Burn Center. In all, he suf- 
fered third-degree burns on about 12 percent 
of his body, including his arm, thigh and but- 
tocks up to his belt line. Gossett, who was also 
injured in the accident, was treated for burns 
on the back of his head and hands and soon 
released. After a month of treatment at Sher- 
man Oaks, Barton spent four months j 
recuperating, not at his home in yalley 
Stream, Long Island, but in Los Angeles. It 
was a time when even the briefest car ride was 
painful. 

"You don't know what it's like until you 
go through it. And yet, there's no reason to 
go through it," Barton says. "For myself, I 
was real curious about something like this 
happening to me. But I wouldn't say you 
learn anything from it. 

"I remember the first couple of days in the 
hospital; I remember saying that I didn't 
want to see the pilot episode, that I hope I 
never see it. At that point, I didn't care. One 
good thing about my attitude is that I give act- 
ing 100 percent and 1 care about my work and 
I want to be good and I really try hard. But, in 
the other respect, I don't care. I was hurt. I 
didn't care if I would ever work again. It was, 
would I be okay? 

"Acting's taught me a lot, but it's made my 
life a lot more intense too. I went through a 
lot of intenseness in the last two or three years 
and now, basically, it's cooling off to a nice 
level where I can enjoy myself a little bit and 
just lighten up. I took life real seriously for 
three years. I don't know if it was the acci- 
dent, but everything culminated to, 'Lighten 
up. You don't have to whip yourself on the 
back in order to learn things. You can also pat 
yourself on the head and learn things.' That's 
about where it is for me right now. I just 
wanted to get better. I didn't even ask about 
whether they were going to wait for me. I 
wanted to know how bad it was and what I 
had to do to get better." 

The "Trek" connection 

During his hospital stay, Barton was visited 



28 STARLOG/Novemfcer 1982 



by members of the Matthew Star crew, in- 
cluding Executive Producer Harve Bennett. 
"He used to come up and visit me and we 
wouldn't talk about the show. We'd just talk 
about our lives and that's when I felt really 
close to Harve. When I got out, Star Trek was 
still shooting and I hardly saw him." 

Besides the Trek connection via Harve 
Bennett, The Powers of Matthew Star has 
also employed two other Enterprise 
passengers. Walter Koenig supplied a script, 
called "Mother," and Leonard Nimoy took 
the director's seat for an episode called "The 
Triangle," in which Matthew Star takes his 
vows. 

"I liked working with Leonard." Barton 
admits with a nod. "All in all, I think the 
show is real good and he gave his time. He 
understands, being an actor himself; he 
relates a lot more. That should be a pretty 
good show." 

Barton's entry into the acting profession 
seems to surprise him even now that he has a 
network contract in tow and a feature film to 
his credit. As an "A" student at Long 
Island's Nassau Community College, Bar- 
ton made preliminary plans to become a 
pharmacist. Anticipating the enormous 
funds needed for post-graduate work, he 
took a job modeling swimsuits, which 
brought him $1,500 and an eight-day stay in 
Barbados. 

The day he returned from that first model- 
ing job, he received a call from the agency 
which had set up an appointment for Barton 
to test for the NBC series Shirley. After sur- 
viving several rounds of auditions, Barton 
made it to the videotaped test along with three 
other young actors. 

"According to the director, when I 
videotaped my scenes, it took me like three, 
four minutes to do two scenes. One was an 
emotional scene where I was arguing with my 
father, breaking down. It was real easy," 
Barton shrugs. "I just went for it. I was so 
high and I was spilling my guts to everybody. 
I was just playing and everybody else went in 
and took hours to do their scenes because 
they were getting their method up." 

Barton landed the role of Bill Miller on the 
short-lived Shirley, feeling a bit "guilty about 
getting the part and being in acting class with 
other actors who had been studying for six 
and seven years and hadn't gotten anything. 
They are good actors; they can put on a mask 
and act real well. But do they give their soul? 
Does it hurt them? Do they get up there and 
really worry about whether they're good or 
not? 

"I'd watch them in class and think, 'Wow, 
these people really have more talent than I 
ever thought of having. ' But yet, does it really 
hurt them? I think that's why James Dean 
and people like him were really good. I think 
it hurt them really bad and they were always 
concerned with were they good, which is the 
special quality. You get so comfortable in a 
classroom that you end up not caring and you 
fall into tricks. Sure you might sound natural , 
but it doesn't grab people. Your soul doesn't 
pop out and start pulling people in. 

"I've gotten all my parts," Barton con- 
tinues, "when I'm hurting in life. When I go 




Our unearthly duo: Peter Barton and Lou Gossett Jr. 




Barton surrounded by his TV family from Shirley. 



to an audition, I'm real vulnerable and that's 
the quality they're always after in me. Even 
though my character's a bit more sure of 
himself, I like that part when I'm in touch 
with a lot of tension. . . I think if you're really 
just yourself, you can be a star. To be a 
superstar, you have to be good looking and 
there's a whole Little package that goes with 



being a superstar. But, to be a star, all you 
have to be is be yourself." 

Peter Barton cannot pinpoint where he'll 
be even a month from now. At present, he's 
"sort of unwinding," having a good time, 
awaiting his next "wonderful relationship," 
with a glint of stardom, if not super-stardom, 
in his eyes. * 



STARLOG/November 1982 29 



SOUNDTRACK SPECTACULAR 




FORBIDDEN PLANET 

Original electronic soundtrack music in stereo 
■from the SF classic. 



THE CHOSEN 

Ennio Morricone's score musically, links the 
mysterious events and violent deaths . - 



PRINCE OF THE CITY 

The current hit movie starring Treat Williams. 
Scored by Paul Chihara 



BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS 

Exciting orchestral score for humorous SF 
adventure RARE 1 




DARK STAR 

First Release:- 

Cult SF film soundtrack, music and dialogue. 



DRESSED TO KILL 

Sensational DePalma thriller. 
Exciting Herrmann-esque music. 



HALLOWEEN II 

Music to scream to, by the maker of 
Halloween. 



THE HOWLING 

Pino Donaggio's latest horror score is 
exciting and richly symphonic. 




"•— 




I- 








1*10 SCWFBIN 








■9HT VOWiCr. *ft*S | 

1 ilSP"9l I 






SMI 


msM 








ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK 

Original soundtrack album from John 
Carpenter's hit film 



VOYAGE OF THE DAMNED 

Lalo Schrifrin's exciting soundtrack 
adventure /drama score. 



TOUCH OF EVIL 

Joseph Gershenson conducts 
thriller music by Henry Mancini. 



BUCK ROGERS 

The original motion picture soundtrack, 
composed and conducted by Stu Phillips 




MAD MAX 

Dynamic, percussive music to 
futuristic adventure film. 



PRANKS 

Music to the mind-boggling horror film 
composed by Chris Young. 



THE ROAD WARRIOR 

The hard-driving sequel to Mad Max with 
music by Brian May. 



TIME AFTER TIME 

Miklos Rozsa conducts Royal Philharmonic m 
thrilling H.G. Wells adventure score. 




EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (Digital) 

Specially arranged by John Williams and con- 
ducted by Charles Gerhard! 



THE SWORD AND THE SORCERER 

The original soundtrack of the fantasy film, 
composed & conducted by David Whitaker 



ONE STEP BEYOND 

Harry Lubms mood-setting score from the 
classic 50"s TV series. Stereo recording 



DIGITAL SPACE (Digital) 

London Symphony Orchestra Fabulous Film 
Music! Dynamic Audio' 



SOUNDTRACK SPECTACULAR 




THE AVENGERS 

Composer Laurie Johnson conducts a festival 
of themes from the sensational TV adventure 
series, plus music from THE NEW AVENGERS 
and THE PROFESSIONALS. The orchestra re- 
creates the familiar original arrangements per- 
fectly, but with dynamic new fidelity of the high- 
est analog quality. A "must have" album for all 
record collectors! 



FIRST MEN IN THE MOON 

Laurie Johnson's exciting soundtracks, 
Including Dr. Strangelove and Hedda. 




rrSALIVE2 SR1002 

Bernard Herrmann's 50th and last sound- 
hack score. 



FANTASTIC FILM MUSIC/GLASSER 

Original soundtrack suites: The Cyclops. 




MASTER OF THE WORLD 

The Vincent Price adventure/fantasy with a 



Cisco Kid, Amazing Colossal Man 5 more! sweeping Les Baxter score 



SILENTRUNNING STV81072 

Music by Peter Schickele: songs by Joan 
Baez. Newly remastered. 




■ORTH BY NORTHWEST (Digital) 

^tompiete Herrmann score to classic Hitch- 
■■ck thriller. Newly recorded! 



MANIAC 

Blended synthesizer & traditional in- 
struments create nightmare music. 



THEMES FROM SF/HORROR FILMS 

"This Island Earth," "Shrinking Man," 
"Revenge of the Creature" and 9 more! 



DESTINATION MOON STV81130 

Leith Stevens' score to the prophetic 
George Pal film. Stereo recording. 



SOUNDTRACK SPECTACULAR DISCOUNT COUPON 



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NORTH BY NORTH- 
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The "Doctor Who" 
Episode Guide 

1982 SEASON 



By DAVID HIRSCH 



Hr 




«. 1 

Left: Peter Davison as the Doctor. Right: Davison, Sutton, Fielding and Waterhouse 
clown on the set of "Black Orchid." 

mb s a follow-up to issue 62' s inter- 

■1 views with the new cast of Dr. 
M^k. Who, this month we present a 
guide to Peter Davison's first season as 
the Doctor. 



CASTROVALVA (4 Parts) 

Airdates: Jan. 4,5,11,12, 1982 

Writer: Christopher H. Biedmead 

Director: Fiona Cumming 

Guest Cast: Anthony Ainley, Frank Wylie, 

Michael Sheard 

After saving the galaxy from destruction by 
the Master (Ainley), the Doctor has fallen 
from a high gantry at the Pharos Project on 
Earth. In an effort to save his life, the 
Doctor's body regenerates, taking on the 
form of a blond, younger man. With his mind 
disoriented by the change, it is up to Adric, 
Nyssa and Tegan to help him escape the 
Pharos guards so that he can get back to the 
TARDIS where the Zero Room will help him 
safely survive the traumatic regeneration. 
The Master, however, sees this as the perfect 
chance to destroy his enemy once and for all. 
As the three companions await the Doctor's 
recovery, the TARDIS is hurled back to 
Event One— the creation of the Universe— at 
a time wherein the TARDIS could not exist! 

FOUR TO DOOMSDAY (4 Parts) 

Airdates: Jan. 18,19,25,26,1982 

Writer: Terrance Dudley 

Director: John Black 

Guest Cast: Stratford Johns, Annie 

Lambert, Paul Shelley, Philip Locke, Burt 

Kwouk 

The TARDIS lands aboard a giant alien star- 
ship that is on a heading for Earth. The craft 

v> start. DC/November 1982 



is under the command of the green-skinned 
Monarch (Johns) and his assistants, Persua- 
sion (Shelley) and Enlightenment (Lambert). 
The Doctor discovers a terrifying secret when 
he befriends Bigon (Locke), a member of the 
Urbankan crew. It is a secret that could spell 
disaster for the populace of Earth. 



KINDA (4 Parts) 

Airdates: Feb. 1,2,8,9,1982 

Writer: Christopher Bailey 

Director: Peter Grimwade 

Guest Cast: Nerys Hughes, Richard Todd, 

Simon Rouse, Jeffrey Stewart 

As Nyssa rests in the TARDIS after a brief ill- 
ness, the Doctor, Adric and Tegan explore a 
new planet where they chance upon Wind- 
chimes, a bizarre natural formation that in- 
trigues Tegan. As the Doctor and Adric con- 
tinue on, Tegan finds herself drawn into a 
bizarre world of darkness. There she meets 
Dukkha (Stewart), a strange humanoid 
creature that demands Tegan to allow him to 
experience the outside world through her 
body. Meanwhile, the Doctor and Adric have 
been captured by a robot-like device that 
escorts them back to its owners, a group of 
alien explorers (Todd, Rouse, Hughes). The 
aliens believe that the inhabitants of the 
planet, Deva Loka, are responsible for the 
disappearance of the rest of their party. One 
of the aliens, Hindle, is unhinged, and when 
the commander disappears as well, he 
ruthlessly takes command, threatening to kill 
the Doctor. 

THE VISITATION (4 Parts) 
Airdates: Feb. 15,16,22,23,1982 
Writer: Eric Saward 



Director: Peter Moffatt 
Guest Cast: Peter Van Dissel, Michael Rob- 
bins, James Charlton, Valerie Fyfer „•- 

The time travellers land in England in the 
mid-Seventeenth Century, when the dreaded 
Plague ravaged the populace. But Plague is 
not all there is to fear as the Doctor and his 
companions encounter a race of alien mon- 
sters and Nyssa must use all her cunning and 
skill to defeat an alien android. 

BLACK ORCHID (2 Parts) 

Airdates: March 1,2, 1982 

Writer: Terence Dudley 

Director: Ron Jones 

Guest Cast: Gareth Milne, Ahmed Khalil, 

Michael Cochrane, Barbara Murray 

Doctor Who's first historical drama in 16 
years finds the travellers in 1925 England. 
Through a case of mistaken identity, they are 
invited into the home of Lord Cranleigh 
(Cochrane). To Nyssa's amusement, she 
discovers that she bares a striking 
resemblance to Cranleigh's fiance, Ann 
Talbot (Sutton in a dual role). As a lark, the 
girls decide to dress in identical costumes at 
the evening's fancy dress ball, unaware that a 
killer is after Ann. 

EARTHSHOCK(4Parts) 

Airdates: March 8,9,15,16,1982 
Writer: Eric Saward 
Director: Peter Grimwade 
Guest Cast: Clare Clifford, James Warwick, 
Steve Morley, Mark Hardy, David Banks, 
Beryl Reid 

While exploring a vast cave system beneath 
25th Century Earth, a group of Paleon- 
tologists are ruthlessly slaughtered by an un- 



seen enemy. The team leader, Professor Kyle 
(Clifford), escapes and manages to reach Lt. 
Scott (Warwick) and his security force 
troopers. Under Kyle's guidance, the 
troopers are led into the tunnel system in an 
effort to route out the murderer. Mean- 
while, the TARDIS has landed nearby while 
Adric programs the craft for a trip into the 
Universe know as E-Space, where Adric's 
homeworld is. Unknown to anyone, the Doc- 
tor's old enemies are about to strike 




again — the Cybermen are on the move! 

TIME FLIGHT (4 Parts) 

Airdates: March 22,23,29,30,1982 

Writer: Peter Grimwade 

Director: Ron Jones 

Guest Cast: Anthony Ainley, John Flint, 

Peter Dahlsen, Judith Byfield 

When a Concorde supersonic passenger jet 
vanishes into thin air, the Doctor and his 
companions follow and find themselves on 



another planet for yet one more battle with 
the Master. [Profiles:abject] 

CAST: 

The Doctor Peter Davison 

Adric Matthew Waterhouse 

Nyssa Sarah Sutton 

TeganJovanka Janet Fielding 

CREW: 

Producer John Nathan-Turner 

Main Title Music Ron Grainier 




Far left: The Doctor takes aim in 
"Earthshock." Left: Off on another 
adventure. Below left: In "Four 
to Doomsday" the Doctor and Adric 
try to reason with the alien lead- 
er, Monarch. Below right: The 
time travellers land on another 
alien planet in "Kinda." Bottom 
left: Adric and the Doctor try to 
diffuse a cyberbomb (built by 
model maker Martin Bower) in 
"Earthshock." Bottom right: 
Nyssa borrows the Doctor's sonic 
screwdriver for a plan of her 
own in "Four to Doomsday." 







i 



STARLOG/November 1982 33 



impressions of a 

Soundtrack-Filled 

Summer 

in a change of pace, one of our editors "listens" to this 
past summer's new films, and some other interesting offerings. 

By DAVID HIRSCH 



Meco's impressions of an 
American werewolf in 
London 

(Casablanca NBLP 7260) 

Since 1977, Meco Monardo has gained a 
reputation with the release of his best- 
selling dance-oriented adaptations of the 
scores for such films as Star Wars, Super- 
man, Star Trek and The Wizard of Oz- When 
Polygram wanted to produce a soundtrack 
album of American Werewolf for the 
Casablanca label, they found themselves fac- 
ed with a unique problem, Elmer Bernstein's 
score ran only seven minutes long! 

In a fit of creativity, they solved the pro- 
blem by commissioning Meco to adapt the 
Bernstein score and the three classic songs, 
"Blue Moon," "Moon Dance" and "Bad 
Moon Rising. ' ' Meco has faithfully recreated 
the three songs on his album as well as a 
wonderful three minute, 37 second cut from 
Bernstein's score. The piece, entitled "The 
Boys," comes from the sequence when the 
two young Americans accidentally wander 



out onto the English moors. 

Filling the rest of the album are four tracks 
composed by Maury Yeston and Denny 
Randell that are inspired by the film. One of 
these, "Werewolf Serenade," is a curious 
narrative told by someone who sounds like 
Wolfman Jack. 

Although not the soundtrack album, this 
comes pretty close and will probably please 
fans of the film. 

conan tne Barbarian 

(Composed & Conducted by Basil 
Poledouris— MCA-6108) 

If you haven't seen the film, but are familiar 
with the legend of Robert E. Howard's 
barbarian hero, you will still find that this 
score perfectly captures the life force of Con- 
an and his world of Cimmeria. Poledouris 
utilizes a fierce drum-beat to project savage 
power in the first track, "Anvil of Crom,." 
while a chorus, chanting in Latin, adds an air 
of mysticism to "Riders of doom" and "Bat- 
tle of the Mounds." 

Subtitled "Theme of Love," the track, 



"Wifeing" exemplifies the relationship be- 
tween Conan and his female counterpart, 
Valeria. This theme is stark in its contrast to 
"The Orgy," a savage track that reminds one 
more of a beating in a dark alley than 
anything related to love. "The Wheel of 
Pain" is another notable track that reflects 
the ponderous and never ending labor of this 
device. 

Performed by members of The Orchestra 
& Chorus of Santa Cecilia and The Radio 
Symphony of Rome, Conan the Barbarian is 
a must for Conan fans and lovers of fine film 
music. 

The Avengers 

(Composed & Conducted by Laurie 
jonnson— Starlog/varese sarabande 
ASV-95003) 




If you are like me, you've probably got at 
least one album in your collection with the 
theme from the Avengers, but it probably 
just doesn't sound as good as it did on the TV 
series. This new release, by the original com- 
poser, doesn't sound as good . either— it 
sounds much better. Johnson's latest version 
of the main title to the popular 1960s program 
captures all the pomp and outrageous cir- 
cumstances of the adventures of John Steed 
and Emma Peel. 

Also featured on the first side of the album 
are various themes from the original series 
and the main title and incidental music from 
The New Avengers. Each track is backed 
with a liner note explaining the sequence and 
episode from where the music was based to 
help you remember back. I was a bit disap- 
pointed that one of my favorite themes, that 
of the relentless Cybernauts, was missing 
from the album for some reason. 

The record is backed with a selection of 
themes from Johnson's latest series, The Pro- 
fessionals, which has not aired in this country 
yet. 

The Thing 

(Composed & Conducted by Ennio 
Morricone— MCA-6111) 

The purpose of any music in a film is to 
help the audience to better experience the 
story that is unfolding on screen. To make the 
action more breath-taking, to make love 



34 STARLOG/November 1982 



more beautiful, to make the terror more hor- 
rifying. 

There is no doubt that Morricone's score 
does just that. But on its own, without the 
heroics of Kurt Russell or the hideous shape- 
changing monster, the music for this film is 
unbearably dull. Most of the tracks feature a 
single, short movement that is repeated over 
and over. It's very difficult to listen to when 
the track runs anywhere from three to seven 
minutes. 

One track, "The Thing: Contamination," 
features the plucking of bases and violins that 
builds into a frenzy. If there was any kind of 
main theme for this film, I couldn't find it. 

The Road warrior 

(Composed & Conducted by Brian 
May— varese Sarabande STV 81 1 55) 

With the success of Mad Max (STV 
81144) and Patrick (STV 71107) 
behind him, Brian May has certainly become 
one of Australia's foremost film composers. 
His score for Max's sequel, The Road War- 
rior (also known as Mad Max II), is yet again 
another effective audio reflection of the 
desolate world of tomorrow, when fuel 
becomes more valuable than gold. 

In reflecting this downtrodden world, May 
has composed a low-key score that featues no 
spectacular victory marches (for there are not 
great victories here), but rather "a profound 
melancholy for the losses mankind has sus- 
tained,' ' as described in the liner notes by pro- 
ducer Tom Null. 

What is unique about Varese Sarabande's 
release is that the album was recut. Originally, 
a record had been assembled for Japan and 
England without May's approval. The peo- 
ple who put that pressing together thought it 
would be nice to "jazz", the tracks up a bit by 

f inserting sound effects throughout the 
album. Null felt that this move degraded the 
symphonic splendor of May's score and he 
removed all the effects, placing them at the 

; end, in a suite. On a recent trip to the States, 
May listened to both pressings and en- 

! ihusiastically approved of Null's fancy 
editing work. 

e.t. The Extra Terrestrial 

(Composed & Conducted by John 
Williams— MCA-6109) 

Once more, John Williams has composed 
a wondrously beautiful symphonic score 
that can be enjoyed without ever having seen 
the film. It is his best and most original score 
. to date, from pulse-pounding excitement 
("Abandoned and Pursued"), to bizarre 
[wonderment ("Three Million Light Years 
from Earth"), to the joy of resurrection 
r*E.T. Phone Home"). 

Williams,has perfectly captured the magic 
and the sole of E.T. as you hear him wander 
from his ship, flee from his pursuers and 
Befriend young Elliot. It's a musical study of 
a unique love between two different life- 
's and the consequences they suffer. 
Like two of its other counterparts this 
season, E. T. The Extra Terrestrial is a digital 



recording which adds to the immense sym- 
phonic sound of this album. The album 
reassures you that Williams is good at com- 
posing more than just marches! 



The wrath of 



Star Trek II: 
Khan 

(Composed & Conducted by James 
Horner— Atlantic SD-19363) 

After hearing Horner's previous scores 
for Humanoids of the Deep (Cerberus 
CST-0203) and Battle Beyond the Stars 
(Rhino RNSP 300), I was overtaken by a 
strong sense of Deja vu when listening to this 
Trek soundtrack album. Not only does the 
score sound very similar to Battle but the 
score to that film has quite a few all-too- 
obvious swipes from the first Star Trek film. 
Perhaps the 28-year-old Horner is just too 
young and too inexperienced to handle the 
task demanded by such a major film. He 
seems to have trouble putting his past work 
out of his mind (Humanoids being also 
similar to Battle) and tries to make up for this 
by changing the notes around every time the 
chords get too familiar. You feel like your 
sensibilities are being played with. 

Despite the lack of originality, this isn't a 
bad score. It complements the film very well, 
creating a wonderful nautical feel, which is 
appropriate since Trek's creator.Gene Rod- 
denberry, had described the original TV 
series as "Captain Horatio Hornblower in 
space." 

Atlantic has released the album as a top-of- 
line quality digital recording which makes the 
90-piece orchestra sound spectacular. 

Trek fans will be happy to know that 
Leonard Nimoy's narration has been includ- 
ed on the "Epilogue/End Title" track. 



Music From the 21 st 
Century 

(GNP/Crescendo CNPS2146) 

And now, as the Monty Python group was 
fond of saying, for something complete- 
ly different. Music From the 21st Century 
was conceived, designed, edited and pro- 
duced by Neil Norman — the same young mu- 
sician/producer who brought us the Greatest 
Science Fiction Hits albums, volumes one 
and two. 

For those albums, Norman combined pop, 
rock and electronicized versions of SF themes 
with some fairly "straight" renderings. A fan 
of SF as well as an experimenter in rock/elec- 
tronic music, Norman included some golden 
oldies along with themes from current hit 
films, giving listeners a variety of music on the 
two records, from The Outer Limits to 
ALIEN, from Dark Star to Star Wars. 

In putting together this latest album, Nor- 
man struck off in new directions. The liner 
notes describe Music From the 21st Century 
as a "collection of daring electronic music ex- 
periments, ' ' featuring " the most gifted futur- 
ists of the audio spectrum." I'm sure that 
he'll come in for some arguments there, 
although the creative line-up does feature 
musicians with solid credentials. 

As for the "daring experiments" . . . the al- 
bum succeeds more often than not. After a 
two-minute introduction, the rest of side one 
is taken by "Tangram," a major work cred- 
ited to Tangerine Dream (Edgar Froese, 
Christopher Frank and Johannes Schmelling 
are listed in the liner notes). 

The Introduction lets you know immedi- 
ately where the heart and soul of the album 
(Continued on page 96) 




FIVE 3" BUTTONS - $6 








SCULPTED CERAMIC- MUGS'; 
$29.95 EACH/ $75,95 -.SET OF ALL THRI 




rmei<^L 



BRASS-ENTERPRISE 
KEYCHAIN -$10 




V ■ S~ 



"«E WRATH OF KHA* 1 


' : 






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TWO FELT PENNANTS - $7 



FOUR INSULATED 
PHOTO MUGS - $12 



EXCITING NEW COLLECTOR'S ITEMS 
FROM THE BEST STAR TREK FILM 

EVER! 



This is a Star Trek movie that you'll always 
want to remember. And what better way 
than with Star Trek II: The Wrath ot Khan 

memorabilia? Sculptor Jim Rumph, known 
for his Star Wars mugs, has created 
delightful sculpted ceramic mugs of 
Speck, Kirk and Khan. Destined to be a 
treasured momento is a wonderous 
sculpted brass keychain of the Enterprise. 
Sets of four insulated mugs with color 
photos from the film, five full-color 3-inch 
buttons and two great felt pennants round 
out the group of items. Buy them for 
yourself, or as a terrific gift for 
your favorite Trekker! 

Star Trek Is A Trademark a And © 1982 by 
Paramount Pictures Corporation Under Exclusive License 



Send cash, check or money order to: 
Star Trek Souvenirs, 

475 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016. 
ITEM DESCRIPTION PRICE QUA 

Set of 4 insulated mugs $12 

Set of 5 buttons $ 6 

Brass keychain $10 

Bonus set - all above sets $25 

Set of 2 pennants $ 7 

Ceramic mugs 

Speck 

Kirk 

Khan 
Set of 3 ceramic mugs 



CA residents add 6% sales tax. 
Add S2.CO shipping & handling. 
Add additional $2.COea. ceramic mug TOlAL_ 



Please alow six weeks for deivery. 



.STATE. 



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*'• 



^fc»»**< 



Summer 

in CREVIEW 

Our time has finally come. The summer season of 1982 
will go into the record books as the first time that SF 
and fantasy films totally dominated a full season's re- 
leases. No less than a dozen genre films premiered this past 
summer — some good, some bad, some box-office record 

►breakers. In order to properly do justice to this unique phe- 
nomenon, we've expanded this issue and turned the 32 addi- 
tional pages over to a critical evaluation of the major films 
released during the past season. 

Heading off the special section is a look at the lighter side 
of movie sequels, written by Hollywood wunderkind Alan 

I Spencer and illustrated by the peerless Howard Cruse. On 
the serious side, David Gerrold investigates the "Star Trek 

[Experience," from the TV series through The Wrath of 

\Khan. 

Following Spencer and Gerrold are a series of reviews: 

I COMICS SCENE editor Bob Greenberger takes on Conan; 
one of the world's most popular authors, Alan Dean Foster, 

| shares his opinions on£. T. ; top-notch SF author (and Presi- 
dent of The Science Fiction Writers of America) Norman 
Spinrad examines Blade Runner, Ace reporter (and future 
STARLOG columnist) Ed Nana reviews Disney's TRON; 
one of SF's wittiest writers and most astute observers of the 
scene, Ron Goulart, looks at Poltergeist; John Carpenter's 
The Thing comes under the scrutiny of TV scripter Alan 
Spencer, with additional thoughts from Kenneth Tobey, 
who starred in the original version; finally, FANGORIA 
editor Bob Martin comments on the Mad Max sequel, Road 
Warrior. 

All of the reviews represent the thoughts of the individual 
writers. These are not editorials and they do not represent 
the feelings or editorial posture of the magazine or its staff. 
They are, however, diverse, incisive, thought-provoking 
and, in some cases, quite surprising. We hope that you enjoy 
reading through this special section on "The Summer in 
Review." 



^ 



3 





22M. 



oMl 



w 



SMJ 



w 






Shooting the Stars 







By ALAN SPENCER 







As a working member of the enter- 
tainment community, I am privy to 
first hand information months 
before it's disclosed to the public. 

As a favor to STARLOG and its readers, I 
have taken it upon myself to reveal some of 
Hollywood's best kept secrets regarding the 
upcoming science fiction and fantasy films 
you'll be seeing on your screens in the near 
future. 
Remember where you read it first. 



Steven Spielberg in conjunction with 
Universal Pictures has announced the work- 
ing title of the new E. T. sequel. To be called 
simply E. T. II- In His Adventure in Moscow, 
the story deals with the friendly little alien's 
capture by KGB agents of the Soviet Union. 

A majority of the story is expected to take 
place within the Kremlin where Russian 
agents, convinced he is a spy, brutally inter- 
rogate E.T. in an effort to decipher the mean- 
ing of his uttered code words: "Phone 
home." 



Clint Eastwood will co-star as an American 
pilot hired to rescue E.T.-by sneaking into the 
country and stealing a super sophisticated 
Russian bicycle to fly them both out on. 



With Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan 
established as a solid hit, Paramount Pictures 
has happily announced an additional 78 
planned sequels. 

Included among the titles are: The Wrath 
ofMudd, The Wrath of Charlie X and one ti- 
tle that stands out as curious being The Wrath 
of McCoy. 



Walt Disney Productions felt they were on 
the right track with their production TRON 
and plan to continue with films in that same 
vein. 

Next from Disney is a $20 million dollar 
production to be called: Donkey Kong - The 
Motion Picture. 



Harrison Ford has voiced concern over be- 
ing typecast as a George Lucas genre hero. In 
an effort to break that mold, Ford has signed 
to star in a new multi-million dollar big screen 
version of Jason of Star Command. 



Despite the fact that The Thing's box of- 
fice grosses were equal to the profits of a 10 
year old's lemonade stand in Detroit, John 
Carpenter and Kurt Russell have announced 
they plan to continue working together. 

Next on their agenda is yet another remake 
to be entitled John Carpenter's Moby Dick. 
Kurt Russell will be starring as Captain Ahab . 
Whether or not the role will be played with a 
beard has not been decided. 

Carpenter's remake will differ from Her- 
man Melville's original novel in the fact that 
the whale can assume any shape. Carpenter 
stresses that "a great deal of the tension of the 
story will be the crew not knowing which one 
of them is the whale." 

Makeup wizard Rob Bottin will be called 
upon to create "a whale unlike any you've 
ever seen." 



38 STAKLOG/November 1982 




Already rumors are circulating about Re- 
venge of the Jedi long before the film's 
release. 

One of the most prominent of these 
rumors is that Sir Alec Guinness not only ap- 
pears as Obi- Wan Kenobi but also in the dual 
role of the deceased Jedi's cousin Tai-Pan. 

Also revealed in the film is that See- 
Threepio is actually a female droid and that 
Chewbacca is gay. 

Finally, executives at Lucasfilm will be 
confirming anyday now a title change of this 
movie to Luke's Had Enough! 



John Williams has been signed to write the 
musical score for George Lucas' home 
movies. 

Speaking of Lucas, the successful film 
giant is preparing to announce his purchase 
of both Mars and Venus, with Jupiter pen- 
ding. 



Arnold Shwarzenegger has signed with 
ABC television network in an exclusive deal 
to include both pilots and specials. 



First up on his schedule will be a sitcom 
project for both he and Pam Dawber entitled 
Conan & Mindy. 



Burt Reynolds has expressed a desire to 
star in a fantasy or science fiction film. 

Already in the talking stages are such titles 
as Smokey and the Replicant, The Best Little 
Whorehouse on Saturn and The Cannonball 
Blade Run. 



Leonard Nimoy has proudly announced 
that he will be returning to weekly television 
in the role of Mr. Spock. 

The Spock character will be written in as a 
regular on Hill Street Blues. 



In an effort to capitalize more on the Star 
Trek audience, William Shatner's cop series 
T.J. Hooker will recieve a title switch to J. T. 
Kirk. 




The world's first science fiction musical 
will be making its debut on Broadway with 
backing from Twentieth Century-Fox. 

It will be an all new version of A Chorus 
Line with the difference being the entire cast 
will perform under Planet of the Apes 
makeup. 



Universal Studios will be releasing a com- 
pilation of footage from Battlestar Galactica 
as a theatrical feature. 

The title of the above mentioned film will 
be The Best of Battlestar. 

It will have a running length of two 
minutes. 



The title of the next Indiana Jones adven- 
ture has been announced. 

To be called Raiders of the Lost Car Keys, 
the film will follow Jones' worldwide search 
to find where he dropped the keys to his 
pickup. 



James Bond, agent 007, will be returning in 
an all new movie not based on any of Ian 
Fleming's famous novels. 

The new film, Bond on the Run, is going to 
introduce the new actor taking over from 
Roger Moore in portraying the world famous 
fictional spy: Dudley Moore. 

When asked how he would be playing the 
role, Moore replied: "Like a rich drunk." 



Harve Bennett has announced a new 
science fiction mini-series for network televi- 
sion called Rich Man, Bionic Man. 



Finally, let it be known that troubled 
number three network NBC recently offered 
its top position to none other than Gene Rod- 
denberry. 

Roddenberry promptly turned the net- 
work down refusing even to consider the 
offer. 

When asked why, Roddenberry stated for 
the record: "There never has, and never will 
be any intelligent life there." * 

ST ARLOG/ 'November 1982 39 



The 

STAR TREK 

Experience 



By DAVID GERROLD 



Along about the third time I saw Star 
Trek II-The Wrath of Khan, I no- 
ticed a very interesting thing. 
As good as it is, it's a much better picture 
■than most of us have given it credit for. 

If you read "Soaring" last month, you 
know that I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. I 
had a wonderful time, and I had words of 
high praise for just about everybody con- 
nected with the production. Since that col- 
umn was written, I've had the opportunity to 
see the film a few more times. 

* * * 

There's a difference between craft and art. 
Most films are expressions of craft. They are 
competently made, they get the job done. 
They entertain the audience. Some films tran- 
scend themselves. They transcend the 
medium. Star Wars was such a film. So were 
King Kong and The Wizard ofOz and Gone 
With the Wind. The film that transcends the 
medium is an expression of art. 

How do you know if a film has tran- 
scended itself? UsuaUy it's obvious. It stops 
being just a movie and becomes a cultural ar- 
tifact. That is, it becomes so much a part of 
our experience, so much a part of our lives, 
that it becomes a defining force in our 
culture. 

It is clear that Star Trek— I am talking 
about the TV series and both movies 
here— has also become such a cultural arti- 
fact. The evidence is undeniable. You will 
find references to Star Trek everywhere you 
go. I've seen it pop up in comic strips as di- 
verse as Peanuts, B.C., Funky Winkerbean, 
and Doonesbury. It's been parodied on Sat- 
urday Night Live, and referred to on Mork 
andMindy, Bosom Buddies and who knows 
where else. I've seen references to it in murder 
mysteries (a detective with a cat named 
"Tribble") and in puzzle magazines and even 
a whole cycle of Trek limericks in a limerick 
book. There are arcade games that use twin- 
nacelled spacecraft to "defend the Federa- 
tion" and there's probably not a home com- 
puter in the country that doesn't have at least 
one variation of Star Trek as a computer 
game. (I have three myself.) Star Trek has 
been studied as a religious phenomenon, a 
psychological phenomenon, a cultural phe- 
nomenon, and even (in some circles), a sexual 
phenomenon. 

I have particularly chosen these examples 



Editor's Note; For this issue only, David Ger- 
rold's "Soaring" column has been replaced 
with this investigation of the heart and soul of 
the Star Trek experience. 

40 STARhOG/November 1982 



of the pervasiveness of Star Trek because they 
are "spontaneous." That is, neither Para- 
mount Pictures, nor anyone else involved in 
merchandising, has created them. Rather, 
they have occurred as spontaneous expres- 
sions of individual affection for the show, its 
characters, the starship Enterprise, and the 
larger context of optimism that all of those 
elements represent. 

Truly, Star Trekhas transcended its origins 
as a 16-year-old TV series to become a larger 
expression of American culture. Paramount 
is no longer the owner of the property as 
much as they are the custodians of a national 
treasure. As such, they carry a particular kind 
of responsibility involved in every Star Trek 
decision— the same kind of responsibility 
that is involved in films about Superman, 
another cultural phenomenon. 

The audience is in a peculiar position too. 
It's just about impossible for us to view Star 
Trek II-The Wrath of Khan as a motion pic- 
ture on its own terms. As individuals we can- 
not escape our own history— our experience 
of Star Trek as an American mythology. The 
film is no longer just a film; it is this year's cel- 
ebration of the Star Trek phenomenon. 

One need only look at the various reactions 
to the film to see the truth of it. Has the film 
been judged on its own merits? To some ex- 
tent, yes— but in a larger sense, there is also 
very much in evidence the judgment of the 
film as a piece of the larger Star Trek mythos: 
Those who were waiting outside the theater 
looked eagerly at the faces of those just exit- 
ing from the first performance. "Is it Star 
Trek!" they asked. 

"Oh, yes, yes! It's Star Trek\ Star Trek is 
back!" was the excited answer. 

The reviewers too were unable to see the 
film without its larger context. Whether the 
review was favorable or unfavorable the film 
was always compared with its television and 
motion picture predecessors. A large part of 
this energy has in fact been spent on denigrat- 
ing Star Trek-The Motion Picture— as if 
now that there is a Star Trek that is safe to ap- 
preciate we can now let our hair down and ad- 
mit how much we disliked the earlier one. 

Well. . .yes, the first film was somewhat 
less than inspiring. I suspect that a large part 
of that picture's turgidity is the dreadful 
grinding quality of its score— especially dur- 
ing the last half of the picture. Instead of be- 
ing awe-inspiring, as intended, it is slow and 
exhausting. Compare that with the score of 
ST II, which is crisp, fast paced and decidedly 

military. 

But to dismiss the first film as callously as 
some fans and critics have done is to do a dis- 
service to our own experience and apprecia- 
tion of it. I remember quite clearly the very 



warm feeling it gave me to see the original cast 
back aboard the bridge of the Enterprise and 
the very delicious chill up my spine as it 
moved sweetly and impressively out of its 
space drydock. 

I remember hearing also from quite a few 
others that they too experienced profound 
and positive emotional reactions to Star 
Trek-The Motion Picture . Many of them 
noted that this was in spite of its flaws as a 
movie. 

I have gone on at length about this because 
of the point I want to make here— that while 
the quality of an individual film is important 
at the time we first see it, ultimately, each will 
be viewed not as a single entity, but as an ex- 
pression of Star Trek in the larger context of 
the entire Star Trek experience. (And that ex- 
perience will vary from viewer to viewer to 
viewer, as it filters down through individual 
biases, points of view and subjectivities.) 

The real question to be answered about any 
Star Trek film is not "how good is it?" but, 
"how good is it as Star TrekV Those fans 
who asked, " Is it Star Trek! ' ' were asking the 
absolutely correct question. Their concern 
was not with the specific story told in the 
film— they would have appreciated any well 
told story. Rather, they wanted reassurance 
that they would be getting what they had truly 
come for— more Star Trek. 



So, let me address that subject first. 

Is it Star Trek! 

Yes, it is. It is very much Star Trek. It is one 
of the very best expressions of Star Trek there 
has ever been. 

Clearly the men and women who made this 
movie love Star Trek as deeply as any of its 
fans. 

Only a few of the behind-the-scenes people 
have been with Star Trek since its days as a 
TV series. Most of the production crew for 
this picture were aboard the Enterprise for 
only the first or second time. So it is clear that 
to make this movie, they could not draw upon 
their years of experience on how to make a 
Star Trek movie. They didn't have it. 

What they did have, however, was years of 
experience on how to love Star Trek. And, 
clearly, they brought that love with them into 
the production. It shows throughout. You 
need only glance through a few of the inter- 
views in past issues of this magazine and 
others to see the depth of commitment on the 
part of just about everybody connected with 
the film. 

Therein lies the real source of the success of 
Star Trek II-The Wrath of Khan. The team 
that produced it cared about the job they 
were doing. Because the larger result was 
more important to them than the individual 







The Wrath of Khan was not only an excellent Star Trek, but really good cinema as well. 

particles of it, they were able to keep their 
sights raised above their individual concerns. 
The evidence is that they did a terrific job of 
keeping on purpose. 

You need to appreciate just how daunting 
a challenge they faced. It would not have been 
enough to "recapture" the spirit of Star 
I Trek. That would have been self-imita- 
[tion — and ultimately, self-parody. Rather, 
the task was infinitely more difficult. They 
had to recreate Star Trek. 

That is, they had to put aside their indivi- 
dual histories with Star Trek, and come to it 
fresh and new and young again — as if they 
pad never done it before. 

They had to create for themselves that spir- 
it that Kirk speaks of at the end of the picture 
as he looks out upon the new world that has 
been created by the Genesis device. They had 
to generate it for themselves first, so they 
could generate it for you in the theaters. 

The evidence that they succeeded is appar- 
ent to everyone who was thrilled by the pic- 
fane. Look inside your own experience with 
f the picture. Look at how you felt about it as it 
tanreeled on the screen. 

Were you thrilled? Were you delighted? 
Did you feel at home again aboard the Enter- 
prsel Did you feel satisfaction at seeing Kirk 
back in action, back in control? Were you 
caught up in the adventure? Were you in- 
faired? 

Were you moved by Spock's death? Did 
you cry? 

Did you also feel a profound sense of joy in 
Spock's farewell? Were you moved to see him 
finally at last acknowledge how deeply he 




The original Trek crew is joined by new cast members on the bridge of the Enterprise. 



cared? And Kirk as well — were you touched 
by his farewell to Spock? 

There's your absolute measure of the suc- 
cess of the picture — how deeply did it affect 
youl 

The evidence of audience reaction is clear. 

It is truly Star Trek. 

* * * 

Now, the second part of the question — 
how good is it as a movie? 
And the answer is — as good as it is, it's a 



better picture than we've given it credit for. 

There is this about bad movies: their flaws 
are immediately obvious. The converse is not 
true. The virtues of a good movie are not 
always easily apparent. 

This is because you get so caught up in the 
experience of a good movie that you are not 
paying attention to how all the different 
pieces have been put together. When some- 
thing doesn't work, it's obvious. When it 
does work, it's unnoticeable. It's gotten out 



STARLOG/November 1982 41 




Kirk's glasses, a gift from McCoy, are a symbol of his aging and advancing mortality 




Scotty's relationship with his nephew (Ike 
Eisenman) is a reflection of Kirk's relation- 
ship with his son. So is Khan's relationship 
with Joachim. (Is Joachim Khan's son?) The 
Genesis device produces life from death. It 
can be a weapon or a blessing. Clearly, it is the 
symbol for Kirk's whole dilemma. 

Ultimately, Kirk's confrontation with 
death comes not head on, but from an unex- 
pected quarter— he must deal with the death 
of his closest friend, Spock. It is Spock who 
gives Kirk the greatest gift of all. He gives 
Kirk back his own life. In the act of acknowl- 
edging how deeply he loves him , he completes 
that relationship; that has not been said. If 
Spock has been transformed out of his en- 
counter with V'ger, then in the act of dying, 
he has passed that transformation on to Kirk . 
He has given Kirk back "this simple feeling." 
The Kirk that we see at the end of Star Trek 
II-The Wrath of Khan is not the same man 
we see at the beginning. This story is about the 
most significant event in his career. (So far.) 
It demonstrates his continuing capacity for 
personal growth— and thereby also demon- 
strates why he is the most valuable Captain in 
Starfleet. (And if he's not, then why are we 
telling stories about him, and not about the 
other fellow?) 

Even if this were not Star Trek, this would 
be a powerful and exciting story. That is the 
success here that needs to be acknowledged. 
The makers of this film have used the Star 
Trek universe to tell a story about real people 
with real problems. They have shown us the 
personal heroism that every human being is 
capable of. The story demonstrates the 
courage of a man confronting his own re- 
sponsibilities, and handling them— especially 
the most difficult ones that happen inside the 
heart and soul of human experience. 



A. J~ 1 

Kirk holds A Tale of Two Cities, Spock's gift and a metaphor for their friendship. 



of the way of the larger experience. 

Because we're so aware that this is Star 
Trek, it's easy to miss its virtues as an indivi- 
dual film. Or let me put it this way: this is not 
just a good Star Trek story, it's a good story. 
Period. 

In fact, if you look at the very best Star 
Trek stories, they would have all been good 
stories independent of their expression of Star 
Trek. In other words, you can't just do Star 
Trek and have that be satisfyingby itself. You 
have to do something with Star Trek to have it 
work. Star Trek is only the stage for the per- 
formance. It is not the performance itself. 

What I'm getting at is this: Star Trek II- 
The Wrath of Khan is a very good movie. On 
any terms. 

The story is about Kirk's commitment to 
Starfleet and what it has cost him in personal 
relationships. We see that in the expression of 
his relationship with David, his son. (It also 
explains a lot about his behavior with other 
women over the past 16 years. He's been try- 
ing to recapture his relationship with Dr. 
Marcus, hasn't he?) What is up for Kirk to 
discover is that he is not immortal— that the 
only kind of immortality we can experience is 
our commitment to the next generation. 

42 STARLOG/Wovem&er 1982 



On the surface, it appears that Kirk's prob- 
lem is one from the past— a simple matter of a 
criminal mentality once more on the loose. 
Underneath that, however, in order to handle 
the situation, Kirk must handle himself first. 
And every element of this story reflects that 
inner battle in a way that it becomes the cen- 
tral focus of the story. Is Kirk too old for 
command? Will he let go of the ship and let 
the next generation take over? Or can he re- 
discover his own commitment to life? 

There are levels to the script that are not 
immediately apparent. Only on repeated 
viewings does one become aware how care- 
fully crafted this tale is. Every subplot in the 
picture is a reflection of the major 
plot— Kirk's coming to terms with his own 
mortality. 

Even the tiniest details support the main 
thrust of the story: the Kobyashi Maru simu- 
lation, for instance, is about how a Captain 
responds in the face of almost certain death. 
We find out that Kirk cheats death whenever 
he can. This story is about the one time he 
can't cheat. Kirk's glasses are a symbol of ag- 
ing. The book, A Tale of Two Cities, that 
Spock gives him, is about confronting death 
in the service of a larger commitment. 



Now, let me put it all together. 

It is this year's celebration of Star Trek. 

And it's a well-made movie. 

Taken as a whole, it's even more than that. 
The film transcends each of these origins and 
becomes the holographic expression of all of 
Star Trek. That is, it becomes— for this 
period of time— the window through which 
we look at the rest of Star Trek. It becomes 
the defining experience of Star Trek. (At 
least, until Star Trek III.) 

Let me say that again: it is the defining ex- 
perience of Star Trek— because it is, at heart, 
a story that truly expresses "this simple feel- 
ing" that Star Trek is about. 

There is a sense of joyousness throughout 
this movie. It is the joy of life that we are feel- 
ing—the thrill of aliveness in partnership; the 
enthusiasm of the team as it tackles another 
wonderful problem, another exciting chal- 
lenge. That is the joyousness in this movie. We 
are alive because we love solving problems. 
We love adventure and confrontation with 
the unknown— in ourselves, as well as out in 
the Universe. 

That is the Star Trek experience. 

That is what it has always been. That's all 

we've ever wanted from Star Trek. And it's 

good to have it created anew. 

In the end, Kirk says it for all of us: "I feel 

young again." 






J* 






WA1 

mow » hr» *» 



I 




\bove: Spock has made his decision. He will sacrifice an individual life for the sake of the group. Below: But it's hard to keep a good 
rulcan down. The torpedo casing most probably will not be his final resting place. 




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THE BARBAWAK 



Reviewed By 

ROBERT CREENBERCER 

Conan the Barbarian received copious 
press attention and thousands of peo- 
ple jammed theaters across the coun- 
try for previews — I suspect because we all 
wanted this movie to succeed. Conan, more 
than most literary creations, is well-suited for 
the movie screen and his debut has been a 
long time in coming. It's a shame the movie 
was filled with missed potential and was more 
disappointing than captivating. 

The film had many problems to contend 
with, but it appears the largest problem was 
writer/director John Milius. He ignored what 
Robert E. Howard created and what a dozen 
or so other writers have built almost into an 
industry, and recreated a character for his 
own purposes. It certainly wasn't the Conan 
many of us grew up reading. 

Conan wasn't allowed to be a barbarian. 
He had his roots cut from under him and in- 
stead of savagery, he was forced to fit into the 
mold of a slave. The film opens with an at- 
tack, led by Thulsa Doom, against the village 
of Conan's birth. A voiceover asks why the 
attack was launched but no answer is ever 
forthcoming. The villagers, rough, hide- 
wearing savages known as Cimmerians, put 
up a brief but useless defense. It seemed that 
only Conan's father could fight— and he of 
course was dramatically killed. 

The voiceover soon tells us that they were 
the last of their kind and the children were 
chained to the Wheel of Pain for the rest of 
their lives. Let's stop right here. If, as 
Conan's father tells him, steel is all a man can 
trust, then why do the villagers seem unable 
to defend themselves? Is the entire country of 
Cimmeria reduced to just one village in 
Milius' s view of the world? So it would seem, 
which immediately shows careless considera- 
tion for the Cimmeria created by Howard. 
They were a proud, fierce people that lived by 
their own code. Conan learned that code, in 
the pulps, and used it to help himself to a 
throne later in life. 

Instead, young Conan is chained up for 
some 1 years and rather than learning how to 
survive in the world around him, he's reduced 
to a naive slave. This origin by Milius gives us 
a slave who is educated into a thief on a quest 
for revenge rather than a roving barbarian 
who sold his sword to the highest bidder and 
engaged in war and thievery for pleasure. 

Once one accepts the world-according-to- 
Milius, the film moves forward, slowly. 
While on the one hand Milius is ignoring 
Howard's creation, he's trying to deliver a 
touching homage by using some of the most 
famous incidents from the dozens of Conan 
short stories, novelettes and novels. Unfor- 
tunately, we receive a greatest hits collection 




Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sandahl Bergman as Conan and Valeria. 



rather than a cohesive, entertaining Conan 
movie. The Atlantean tomb and witch wo- 
man are needlessly used and the Tree of Woe 
was a nice idea but poorly executed. In the 
story, Conan frees himself and doesn't re- 
quire sorcery to survive. He's a rugged, tough 
barbarian and Howard never let us forget 
that; Milius left that notion at the typewriter. 
Milius has also borrowed all the popular 
Howard names for his characters — Princess 
Yasmina, King Osric, Valeria— without us- 



ing the original characters. His biggest error 
in this respect is the use of Thulsa Doom. The 
name comes from Howard's King Kull short 
stories and belonged to a true sorcerer instead 
of a pseudo-snake-god-cum-Jim Jones. I 
guess it was the closest they could come to 
Darth Vader. 

The one original Milius creation, Subotai 
the Mongol, is a flop. As portrayed by surfer 
Gerry Lopez, a good friend of Milius's who 
was featured in his Big Wednesday, the 



46 STAKLOG/November 1982 



character came across as a beach bum, totally 
out of place in the Hyborean Age. 

When a story finally gets underway, it 
moves along lazily with side trips here and 
there, with useless and tedious narration 
from the Wizard. Milius, as a director, plod- 
ded through the scenes without building up to 
any satisfying climax. The only saving grace 
was the wonderful visual style brought to the 
film by the rest of the crew. Ron Cobb, for in- 
stance, designed a magnificent ancient civili- 
zation, executed by a talented staff. Duke 
Callaghan, when allowed, provided us with 
some wonderful vistas and gave us the sense 
of a young world still being forged by man- 
kind. Also, John Bloomfield's costumes, 
more often than not, succeeded in making us 
think of these people as barbarians, warriors, 
thieves and kings. 

I wish the same could be said for the action 
sequences. Perhaps C. Timothy O'Meara 
had a bad couple of months in the editing 
room but there is no excuse for the misguided 
fights. Milius has made a big deal in the press 
over what a wonderful job everyone did in 
staging and executing the fights, so I safely 
wonder aloud, "What happened?" The ac- 
tion remained confusing and it was time to 
whip out the score cards to keep track of what 
was happening. The only time that wasn't 
necessary was when our heroic trio donned 
stylized disco-war paint. 

The Battle of the Mounds, by all expecta- 
tions the climactic fight, wound up being a 
senseless collection of arrows flying, swords 
waving and jokes hurled. Valeria's return 
from the dead (another device illused) made 
little sense because of sloppy editing. 
Even the individual clashes were not effec- 

| tively portrayed. Milius could have milked 
the fight with the snake far better but, for 
some unknown reason, decided to let the en- 

; tire sequence last little more than a blink of 
the eye. That sequence also points out an- 

■ other problem with Milius's interpretation of 
Conan: he rarely was allowed to win a con- 

■ frontation single-handedly. Subotai or 
Valeria appeared in the nick of time and 
delivered the fatal sword stroke rather thart 
allowing our hero to appear truly heroic. 

On the other hand, this allowed us the op- 
i portunity to watch Sandahl Bergman as 
; Valeria, turn in the film's best performance. 
Her training as a dancer came into play here 
and her sword fighting had the greatest air of 
realism. We were also presented with a char- 
acter the equal of Conan, one of the few 
things Milius got right with the script. When 
Howard gave us a swashbuckling heroine, 
she could more than match Conan. 

The confrontation between Conan and 
Doom— carelessly played by James Earl 
Jones— at the film' s end, sounded as if it were 
lifted from the climax of The Empire Strikes 
Back, particularly when Doom said, "I am 
i your father." You almost expect Conan to 
look heavenward and ask, "Why didn't you 
tell me Ben?" 
And for such a powerful, charismatic fig- 
[ ore, Doom certainly didn't seem to give Con- 
an much trouble on a one-on-one basis. 
teres the leader of the world's most power- 
ful snake cult, able to change into a snake (for 







Conan vs. a giant snake is a staple of the pulp stories but was dismissed by director 
John Milius as a throwaway bit of action. 



no discernable reason) and a former warrior, 
easily cut in two by a revenge-seeking slave. 
So much for sword and sorcery. 

What little sorcery we got was so dark any- 
way, that Executive Producer Edward R. 
Pressman, who must be given credit for at 
least getting some version of Conan to the 
screen, should have spent more money on 
better lighting. The work done by Peter 
Kuran (witch woman, the demons attacking 
Conan's body and Valeria's ghostly appear- 
ance) was nice and light but far too murky to 
be successful. 

Lastly there is Schwarzenegger himself. He 
looks like Conan, save the sneer, but he surely 
didn't sound like Conan. There was too 



much hesitancy in his voice and all too often 
his action appeared tentative instead of force- 
ful and commanding. 

While Conan turned in decent nationwide 
profits, the film scored biggest around the 
rest of the world. Here, a smaller film (a $4.5 
million budget compared to $22 million) call- 
ed The Sword and the Sorcerer has packed 
the theaters time and again, pulling in over 
eight times its cost. Its creators knew that to 
attract and build an audience, they needed 
plenty of fights, women, sorcery and a relent- 
less pace. If Pressman and Milius were to 
team up with these guys then, maybe, the sec- 
ond Conan film would be truer in spirit to 
what Howard created. * 




Conan finds a sword but Milius never tells the audience that it's an Atlantean tomb. 

SVAKLOG/November 1982 47 



The Lighter Side of summer 
Cinema— Part 1 

By PHIL FOGLIO 



4 ways That They could Have improved "Conarr 
The Movie . . . 



have conhm's voice vubbed. pekhws 
by sir 70hngiel&ud. 



TO e/VMC>T£ WW fAI£/1ICS~ To 
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HEAR. THE WOEFULL LnHENTfiTION% 
OF THElIt WOTTEN! 



MVE COMtl SKA" otllY IN 

». ■cmmniftu; uith subtitles. 



^^ 



^^ 



SO- WHAT 
PIP YOU 
IHIM Of 
"TROtT?/ 



T, 



great visuals, but 

A STUPID FKEfllSC. 

ui/im p/iosr/ihs? 

GIVE rtl ft BRWK: 



THE 1KB OF A 
CIVILIZATION 
INSIDI A 
COMPUTER 
MATRIX 
QOTHEKS YOU? 



IT WOUIPN'T WORK' THEIR. 
WHOlI CIVILIZATIOH WOULD 
CRUSH k/«ENP/£R YOU PULLED 
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ClW^ffflll PLUG 






The 
Extraterrestrial 






Reviewed By ALAN DEAN FOSTER 

Two big-budget films about orphans 
were released this summer, and the 
one that's destined to be 1982's 
highest-grossing production doesn't involve a 
little girl with curly red hair. In fact, the hero 
of this year's most successful movie looks 
more like Sandy than Annie. 

Why? How have we arrived at the point in 
cinematic history where a special effect can 
enthrall an audience enough to make it alter- 
nately weep and laugh? How have rubber, ce- 
ment and aluminum tubing and glass become 
Chaplinesque? 




Imitation is the rule rather than the excep- 
tion in all forms of art, and there is nothing 
especially original in the story of E.T. 
Children have been encountering friendly 
aliens in science fiction for some time. 
Heinlein's Star Beast comes first to mind. 
More pertinent if less well known is Louis 
Slobodan's The Space-Ship Under the Ap- 
ple Tree, which by coincidence happens to be 
the first science-fiction I ever read. It tells the 
story of a friendly little alien who strikes up a 
relationship with a small boy in order to ob- 
tain the special metal "fuel" required to 
power his spaceship back home. 

What makes a newly released book, or 
film, or painting widely popular these days is 
not a uniqueness of theme but of presenta- 
tion. E. T. is science fiction made palatable 
for the general film-going public, ala Star 
Wars. It is no less enjoyable or successful for 
confessing to its origins. 

It is a success made possible by the change 
in the public's taste as much as the rapid 
evolution of certain special-effects tech- 
niques. In earlier science-fiction films the big- 
gest problem was trying to build a believable 
alien. As recently as Star Wars we still have a 
man in a suit trying to convince us he's an 
alien. The major stumbling block to this and 



all other early aliens lay with the eyes. Yes, 
Chewbacca is big and hairy and talks in 



ALIES avoided this difficulty by not giving 
its creature any eyes to object to. 

With Yoda the eye problem was finally 
solved. Special effects genius Carlo Rambaldi 
achieved similar success with his alien in Close 
Encounters of the Third Kind, after a creative 
hiatus following the remake of King Kong, 
and has triumphed with E.T. Add to 
believable eyes advances in micro-electronics, 
makeup and construction techniques and at 
last we have a realistic alien. To me the 
greatest surprise is that Rambaldi was not 
beaten to the punch by the Walt Disney 
organization, which could have utilized its ex- 



perience with audio-animatronics (the mov- 
ing, talking figures you see in the Disney 



years ago. 

As for the shift in public taste and percep- 
tion, years of televised Moon-launchings and 
shuttle shots, of reading about satellite televi- 
sion and computers seems to have finally 
prepared it for realistic portrayals of alien 
visitors, even if such visitors must first fie 
strained through the sieve of mass-market ac- 
ceptance so that the science fiction the public 
receives is more like baby food than a 
gourmet French dinner. Sophistication must 
perforce come later. E. T. may not be Dying 
Inside or Childhood's End. but neither is it 
Wrestling Women vs. the Aztec Mummy (a 



real film, by the way). 

Much of this acceptance is due to the fact 
that tiwlav's "tareet" film-eoine audience. 



which Hollywood defines as those between 
the ages of 14 and 25, has grow n up on science 
fiction. So have the filmmakers responsible 
for translating it to the screen: Spielberg. 
Lucas, Kurtz. Carpenter, Ladd and their 
contemporaries. 

Still, it's remarkable to consider that the 
highest grossing films of the past few years in- 
clude many science-fiction epics, when to 
some old-line Hollywood producers the word 
science fiction still translates as box-office 
poison. Their feelings being at odds with the 
facts, you'd think they'd change their opin- 
ions. In Hollywood such things have a way of 



;v--"..:: ,_vv*2 






#r ■■'/■ 




changing only with glacial slowness. 

The key to making E. T. and these other 
films work is care. Steven Spielberg cares 
about his films. They're his dreams, after all, 
and are made to please himself more than 
theater owners in Ohio or Mississippi. Suc- 
cess has brought him freedom from com- 
promise. 

He has admitted that /-.". T. is a childhood 
fantasy of his own brought to the screen. 
Most science-fiction fans have dreamed 
similar dreams. We're just not in a position to 
bring them to life. 

It's Spielberg's ability to see the world 
from the perspective of a child that may be his 
greatest gift as a filmmaker. Previous films 
have brought forth long critiques labeling 



him as no more than an effects director. 
What is most striking about Spielberg's 
work, however, is not his undeniable talent 
for integrating special effects into a film but 
rather his remarkable facility with that most 
complex and awkward of all cinematic ingre- 
dients, the child actor. Throughout his films 
he has demonstrated the ability to elicit relax- 
ed, realistic performances from children. 

Much has been made of Henry Thomas* 
superb portrayal of Elliott, the boy who 
makes friends with E.T. and around which 
relationship the story revolves, but Spielberg 
draws equally fine performances from his 
other youngsters, from Elliott's older brother 
and his skeptical friends right down to little 
Drew Barrvmore as the elfin little sister. 



This manipulation of children extends 
even to such minor characterizations as 
Elliott's blonde prepubescent elementary- 
school heartthrob. We see it in scenes that 
pass in seconds, such as the brief moment 
where children are gathering to meet their 
schoolbus and one boy playfully pulls down 
the jacket hood Of the girl in front of him to 
cover her face. This kind of throwaway 
business is often overlooked by an audience 
while a film is running as well as when they 
reminisce about it in the car on the way home 
from the theater, but it all contributes to the 
overall feel a picture conveys. 

Contributing enormously to this portrayal 
of adolescent American life is Melissa 
Mathison's screenplay.. As she demonstrated 



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in 77ie fltocA: Ste///on, her feel for children is 
no less sensitive than Spielberg's, though it's 
impossible to say who is responsible for what 
without having watched the film evolve. Nor 
should it be overlooked that this is a male- 
female collaboration. For example, it's dif- 
ficult to imagine Spielberg concocting the 
scene where Elliott's sister dresses E.T. up in 
mommy's clothes. 

Spielberg's facility with child actors goes 
back even past little Cary Guffey's wonderful 
performance in Close Encounters (it's not 
hard to see Elliott as the boy from Close En- 
coders grown a few years older) all the way to 
Jaws. For me, one of the most effective 
moments in this "special-effects picture" in- 
volved a POV (point-of-view) shot of the still 
unseen shark bearing down on the sheriffs 
son as it made its escape from the bay, and the 
total paralysis and fear the boy conveyed to 
the camera. To draw such emotions out of a 
child on a crowded set is far more difficult 
than getting a mechanical fish to travel from 
point A to point B. [Sentinel:to] 

Like most of Spielberg's films, E.T. 
employs a fugal structure, beginning slowly 
and quietly and building relentlessly to some 
overpowering climax. Things are suggested at 
first instead of shown. Spielberg knows how 
to husband his forces. This forces the au- 
dience to work, to pay attention to what's 
transpiring on screen. The beginning of a 
Spielberg film is not what exhibitors call pop- 
corn time. 

So we first see the aliens of E. T. in shadow 
and silhouette. There are suggestions of lights 

52 STARLOG//Vovem6er 1982 



and soft voices. In Close Encounters we 
know the aliens by the effects they produce in 
and around Melinda Dillon's house. 
Likewise our first sign of the shark in Jaws is 
of fins, our first knowledge of its presence by 
cinematic innuendo (the doomed girl being 
swept through the water). WeseeE.T.'sPOV 

first, then fingers. Spielberg is a master of this 
kind of cinematic tease, always restraining 
himself, always holding off as long as possible 
because he knows that when he does show his 
hand it will be that much more powerful be- 
cause of the long, careful buildup he has con- 
structed. Other producers are content to go 
for nickels and dimes. Spielberg always plays 
for the big pot. 

This talent for building gradually to a 
strong climax is not limited to his big-budget 
productions. It's just as apparent in Duel and 
Sugarland Express. It's also a major reason 
for the failure of his WWII comedy 1941, 
where for some reason he put aside his own 
formula. There is no careful buildup in 1941. 
The pace starts out frenetic and devoid of 
suspense, once the charming scene involving 
the marauding Japanese submarine has gone 
by. Thus when the intended grand climax 
finally arrives, the audience has not been pro- 
perly prepared and the feeling is one of let- 
down instead of fulfillment. For one picture 
Spielberg forgot his pacing. 

It could be argued that Raiders of the Lost 
Ark is a similar exception, being a series of 
non-stop antics not unlike 1941, but Raiders 
is actually a series of mini-films strung 
together by threads of plot. In this respect it's 



as much like the old Saturday afternoon 
movie serials as its creator, George Lucas, in- 
tended. There is an intentional climax every 
10 minutes or so, preceded by careful 
buildup. In 1941 there is no such careful 
structuring. . 

In addition to Spielberg's way with 
children, with E.T. himself, with pacing and 
Mathison's fine screenplay, the film also 
benefits from another of John Williams's 
superb scores. Williams is one of the few 
composers writing for films today who reaUy 
understands orchesf ration. 

Thus when Elliott has his first extended en- 
counter with E.T. Williams softens any 
adverse impact the alien's appearance might 
have on the audience by employing the 
gentlest instrument at his command, the 
harp. The mysterious men with the keys, by 
contrast, have their movements underscored 
by deep, sinister rumbles from the brass. In 
all Williams's scores you can tell the good 
guys from the bad guys just by listening to the 
music, much as in a Wagnerian opera. 

Williams can also write melody, something 
many film composers seem to have forgotten 
in their hasty search for startling new sounds. 
Electronics and 12-tone have their uses, but 
audiences still respond best to something they 
can whistle, even if only the leitmotif fox a 
prowling shark. Williams employs his 
twentieth-century influences (Mahler, 
Stravinsky, Hoist) to speak clearly to his au- 
dience. It's not that he can't score like 
Vangelis {Chariots of Fire) but simply that he 
chooses not to. 



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It's up to the director to bring all these 
diverse elements together to make a picture. 
If there's any area where Spielberg could im- 
prove it might be in his handling of his adult 
performers. Richard Dreyfuss, Robert Shaw 
and Roy Scheider all turn in fine perfor- 
mances in Jaws, but their roles are essentially 
those of little boys grown up. More successful 
were Dennis Weaver in Duel, Goldie Hawn in 
Sugarland Express, and Dee Wallace in E. T. 
More importantly, I don't think Steven 
Spielberg has known any really evil people in 
his life. The villains in Raiders are less suc- 
cessful than the good folks. They are played 
so broadly their performances are almost 
comic. The same goes for the cigar-chomping 
Colonel in Close Encounters and the Texas 
cops in Sugarland. For some reason Spielberg 
elects to exercise less control over his villains, 
as if merely identifying them as the bad guys 
was enough to convince an audience of their 
intentions. There is none of the vitality or 
conviction of evil in any of these perfor- 
mances, of real nastiness, that we can see in 
Conrad Veidt's Jaffar from The Thief of 
Bagdad or Gert Frobe's comic Goldfinger. 
Spielberg's successful villains are all in- 
human: the truck in Duel, the shark from 
Jaws, the snakes and Incan booby-traps in 
Raiders, the actions of the poltergeists in the 
picture of the same name. I don't think he 
really likes bad people. 

But he certainly loves his camera; what it 
sees, the way it moves, the magic it can con- 
vey. No director currently working has the 
same knack of knowing when to utilize a 
long lens. E.T. is full of such moments. 
Remember Elliott riding through the sky 
across a foreshortened Moon? The same shot 
is repeated later in the film with all five boys 
crossing in front of the Sun. Spielberg uses it 
to give weight to the movements of the key- 
wielders as they approach the innocent subur- 
ban house, and mass to the army of police 
vehicles that does the same later on. The same 
shot is used to similar effect on the police cars 
in Sugarland Express. 

Each shot is not only carefully set up but 
beautifully lit. Among many can be singled 
out the children staring at E.T. in Elliott's 
closet, as their faces are lit by soft yellow from 
below, and the trucking shot of Elliott stan- 
ding at the kitchen sink preparing to do the 
dishes as steam and window blinds combine 
to mask his staring face. Spielberg is a master 
of this kind of shot composition, which adds 
so much to an audience's enjoyment of a film 
in a way they are rarely conscious of. 

Nor can his POV shots be overlooked. 
These are not used for cheap shock effect as 
they are in the current spate of hack and 
whack films, but to advance our understan- 
ding of the story. So we experience a shark's 
POV in Jaws, a truck's inDuel, and an alien's 
in E. T. So smoothly is the last integrated into 
the flow of action that no one stops to con- 
sider that E.T.'s vision would likely differ at 
least somehow from our own. 

But E. T. , after all, isn't science fiction. It's 
science fantasy. A little boy's fantasy, seen 
through Elliott/young Spielberg and to a 
lesser extent through the NASA scientist who 
represents Spielberg the adult, still dreaming. 

54 STARLOG/November 1982 



Treating a film as fantasy gives the film- 
maker much more leeway. It's not necessary 
to explain in a fantasy why E.T. can levitate 
five boys and their bicycles at the end of the 
story but is unable to raise just himself at the 
beginning. It's not necessary to explain how 
he can die only to suddenly be revived long- 
distance. It's not important to rationalize a 
pure gag such as E.T.'s unreasonable but 
hilarous attraction to a kid dressed up in a 
Halloween Yoda suit. It's not vital to explain 
why a wise, 700-year-old alien needs to read a 
Buck Rogers comic strip to get the inspiration 
to build a signaling device to call his friends, 
nor to explain why only Elliott's mom and the 
"good" guy from NASA manage to find 
their way to the alien landing site, or even to 
reason why an alien ship departing at night 
would leave in its wake a brilliant rainbow. 

There are times when you can over-explain 
rainbows. 

Lastly I must mention one of Spielberg's 



famous homages to old films. There is a scene 
in Elliott's room where E.T. is attempting to 
show the children where he's from. Elliott 
stares toward his window and says, "There's 
something scary happening," whereupon we 
see E.T.'s hand come into view, the fingers 
curling downward to clutch the boy's 
shoulder. This is a replay of the famous scene 
from Pal's War of the Worlds involving the 
Martian's similarly constructed hand, only in 
E.T. it's not used to shock but to warm us. 

Whether you love or hate E. T. , it can't be 
denied that it works on its audience. Spielberg 
and Mathison have told the tale they intended 
to tell. Me, I loved it, because I've shared the 
same dream since /was a boy. There are times 
when adult cynicism needs to be put aside and 
we all need to feel like a kid again. 

And if the Bell System doesn't utilize 
E.T.'s eloquent hands to push long-distance 
calling, they deserve to have a bunch of kids 
doing their advertising for them. * 




Difujc nun he n 



Admission number one: my admira- 
tion for Philip K. Dick's novel Do 
Androids Dream of Electric 
Sheep?, the stupid name-change inflicted 
upon the film version, the despicable fact that 
Phil Dick's name does not appear in ads and 
posters for Blade Runner which manage to 
plug the sound track album, foolish and in- 
ane public statements by Ridley Scott and 
Hampton Fancher, and bad word of mouth 
in the science-fiction writing community all 
conspired to send me into the theater expec- 
ting a bummer. 

Admission number two: far from being a 
turkey, a case could be made for Blade Run- 
ner as the best science- fiction film of the past 
decade, and certainly of the post-Star Wars 
crop. 

For one thing, despite Ridley Scott's aw- 
shucks-I'm-really-just-doing-a-simple- 
adventure-film posturing, Blade Runner is 
I very much a film for adults, intelligent 
sophsiticated adults at that, and runs into 
most of its troubles only when it, Scott, or the 
studio forgets this. 

The plot iself is extremely simple. Rick 
Deckard is a cop of sorts in a future 
megalopolis. His job is to hunt down four 
escaped "replicants," that is, androids with 
deliberately shortened lifespans manufac- 
tured for off-world use. He succeeds in slay- 
ing ("retiring") three of them, more or less 
falling in love with a fifth replicant, Rachel, in 
ihe process. Roy Batty, the fourth and most 
dangerous replicant, has Deckard at his mer- 
cy as he, Batty, is about to die, but decides to 
let Deckard live. Deckard runs off with 
Rachel. Fade out. 

Now if this were really an action-adventure 
film of the Star Wars or even ALIEN variety, 
I would have just blown it for you by reveal- 
ing the whole plot. But that's not what Blade 
Runner is at all. What Blade Runner is, de- 
spite all protests to the contrary, is basically a 
[film verison of Dick's novel, Do Androids 
Dream of Electric Sheep?. 

Scott claims to have never read the book. 
This may or may not be true, but it is obvious 
lhat the screenwriters, Hampton Fancher and 
David Peoples, read the book. Blade Runner 
is certainly not a literal retelling of Do An- 
^oids Dream of Electric Sheep?; settings, 
characters, plot elements, and so forth have 
pi been altered. But the core of the novel, the 
essential story, is the core of the film. The in- 
IfeBectual level of the screenplay and its 
perceived audience are both much closer to 
the intent of Dick than to "action-adven- 
nire" and the theme and its mode of expres- 
non are intellectually and spiritually true to 
ifce novel to an impressive degree. Deckard, 
the replicant killer, comes to see replicants as 
human. The replicants themselves, though 
tfiey are designed to be emotionless, develop 
human feelings, and ultimately human em- 



Rev/ewed By NORMAN SPINRAD 



pathy. What is a human? Answer: a sentient 
being capable of empathy for other sentient 
beings. What is a less-than-human android in 
both Dickian terms and in terms of the film? 
Answer: a sentient being, whether born of 
man and woman, or manufactured, who is 
incapable of feeling empathy for another sen- 
tient being. 

In addition to being true in essence to the 
novel despite public statements to the con- 
trary, Blade Runner, despite more public 
statements to the contrary, is truer to what 
science fiction is all about than just about any 
"SF film" yet made. Scott (and here we are 
definitely dealing with the creative contribu- 
tion of the director) has created the most 
dense, detailed, and fully realized future 
world ever put on film. 

The world in question is a peculiar 21st 
Century Los Angeles, which basically exists 
in three layers. At the top are huge monolithic 
megabuildings apparently done by Douglas 
Trumbull in typical Trumbull high tech 
style — this is literally upper class corporate 
country. In the middle is middle class residen- 
tial territory, seen mostly as interiors. At the 
bottom is the prole country of the streets, by 
far the most interesting and densely-realized 
creation. 

Despite the declaration that this is the Los 
Angeles of the future (and I refuse to believe 
that any culture would be idiotic enough to 
attempt building all those 200 floor buildings 
in an Earthquake zone, or that it would be 
even possible given LA's geology), it feels like 
a Japonified version of New York or 
Chicago, indeed in many ways it seems like a 
future Tokyo itself. The streets are crowded 
and grubby, people dressed in many exotic 
styles, the first multicultural future city I have 
ever seen even attempted on film. Familiar 
ads for Coca-Cola, Atari, and Citizen are 
montaged with exotic oriental neon, exactly 
like the Ginza or Rappongi. Japanese fast 
food joints. A disreputable quarter of ar- 
tificial animal merchants. A Soho-cum- 
Ginza-bar club you'd just love to debauch 
yourself in. Detail piled upon detail piled 
upon detail — a true masterpiece of design 
which makes any previous attempt at 
anything like a future city scene simply look 
ludicrous by comparison. 

These three levels are tied together by 
multileveled walkways, flying cars, elevators, 
and this huge ponderously hovering ad 
display vehicle flashing incomprehensible 
Japanese commercials, Coca-Cola ads, and 
propaganda designed to persuade people to 
move off world. 

Ridley Scott's long experience making TV 
commercials really works to advantage here; 
the scenes of this world have the density of 
detail of a myriad of 60 second commercials 
all strung together for an effect of incredible 
cinematic density. The overall cinematic style 




of the film is also heavily influenced by 
Scott's TV commercial background. Virtual- 
ly every shot is framed like a piece of a com- 
mercial, with outer angles, bizarre at- 
mospheric lighting, the omnipresent (and 
scientifically unexplained) rain and gloom, 
and music designed to highlight key dialogue. 
There is hardly a shot in the film that is not 
such a self-contained set-piece, hardly a shot 
given over to simply photographed interac- 
tion between actors, hardly a shot without in- 
trinsic cinematic interest independent of the 
story. It is a lovely cinematic treat, shot-for- 
shot. 

STARI CiC/Nnvpmhpr 1982 55 




Director Ridley Scott and the late Philip K. Dick. 



Which is as good a segue as anything into 
the flaws that do exist in Blade Runner and 
from whence they arose, since it is apparent 
that no one is more aware of this than Ridley 
Scott himself. Scott has said that he worked 
closely, "totally," with the film editor, Terry 
Rawlings, so the ponderous pace of the 
editing must be laid at least in large part on his 
doorstep. The montage is virtually flawless, 
sequentially, but many, all too many, se- 
quences seem to go on far too long, as if 
Scott, enamored of his own cinematic 
brilliance (justly enamored), cannot bear not 
to linger overlong on the pretty pictures he is 
painting. This not only makes the overall film 
move more slowly than it should, it affects the 
dialogue, making it far too artificial and 
stagey in places. 

It is a curious aspect of the film that there 
are hardly any scenes where the actors are ac- 
tually working intimately off each other. The 
atmospherics, the staging, the cutaways, the 
music, the cinematics, all seem to get in the 
way of this. Since this is a film about aliena- 
tion and finally empathy, it is possible that 
this is an intended statement for the most 
part, but surely this does not apply to the 
stilted and artificial love scene between 
Deckard and Rachel, nor to the final con- 
frontation between Deckard and Roy Batty, 
shown almost entirely without dialogue two- 
shots. Scott seems to be trying to tell the 
whole story cinematically (like commercials) 
and in general this works. But Scott himself 
or someone in the studio above him seemed 
unconvinced of this, adding truly terrible 
voice-over narration in key areas to 
"explain" what has already been told 



cinematically. 

One example will more than suffice, since 
it is the ending of the film. After Batty's 
death, Deckard is confronted by his blade 
runner partner, a man, who, throughout the 
film is shown leaving little bits of origami 
everywhere. "Are you through?" he asks 
Deckard. 
"Yes." 

"I hope she's worth it. Too bad she won't 
live. But then, who does?" 

Cut to Deckard's apartment, where he 
finds Rachel covered by a sheet in such a way 
that neither he nor the audience can tell 
whether she is alive or dead. She's alive. They 
flee. As they do, we see her foot kick a little 
origami figure left on the floor. We see 
Deckard pick it up and study it. Cut to the 
two of them flying over the first green land 
and blue sky we have seen in the film. 

Get it? Well someone thought you 
wouldn't. One's intelligence is instead in- 
sulted by voiceover narration by Deckard ex- 
plaining that his partner must have been in 
the apartment and chosen to let Rachel live. 
Worse, far worse, the narration then goes on 
the undercut the most powerful line of 
dialogue in the whole film: "Too bad she 
won't live. But then, who does?" Deckard 
explains that in fact Rachel is different from 
the other replicants in that she doesn't have a 
preprogrammed life-span, as if the tragedy, 
which, by a single brilliant line of dialogue has 
become the tragedy of our human mortality, 
is simply too real to leave in for the audience. 
What went wrong to mar what is on 
balance a brilliant film? Certainly not the act- 
ing. Harrison Ford is fine in the rather 



undemanding role of Deckard, there isn't a 
bit player who fails to be convincing, and 
Rutger Hauer is brilliant as Roy Batty and 
deserves an Oscar for best supporting actor. 
When the acting ensemble is this good, you 
certainly can't fault the director for being 
unable to extract good performances. 

In a peculiar way, the title change 
epitomizes the problem. Admittedly Do Ad- 
nroids Dream of Electric Sheep? wouldn't 
make it on a theater marque, particularly if 
the creative team insisted on using 
"replicants" instead of "androids" because 
no one involved seemed to know the dif- 
ference between an android and a robot. 
Blade Runner was the title of an Alan Nourse 
novel about smugglers of medical supplies 
and underground doctors in a future world 
which has nothing whatever to do with this 
one. Rights to the title were bought because 
somebody thought it was snappy. Deckard is 
called a "blade runner' ' solely to justify the ti- 
tle, and it makes no internal sense whatever, 
since he is a hunter, not a quarry, and since no 
one ever refers to replicants as "blades." 

As this nonsense must have been imposed 
by the studio, or at least by studio-type think- 
ing, so too the narration, which seems to be 
nothing more than an attempt to speak down 
to an audience which is perceived as not in- 
telligent enough to understand the film 
without it. Fancher, the co-author of the 
screenplay, is listed as executive producer, 
but he was working on the script through 
many rewrites directed by Scott, who also i 
controlled the editing. In other words, there 
does not seem to have been anyone on the 
creative team with both the insight and power 
to tell Scott when he was making a mistake. I 
Scott had the screenplay written to his specs, I 
shot the film, and then controlled the editing. 
The film would have been much improved if 
another creative talent had sat above Scott in 
the editing process. And if it wasn 't Scott who I 
imposed the voiceover narration, whoever 
did is a Phillistine. Even now, the film could 
be mightily improved some day upon re- 
release simply by cutting out all the narration. I 

It remains to be seen how Blade Runner 
will do at the box office, but if it is not the 
commercial success it deserves to be, it will 
because the dumb title, the cynical commer- 
cial tie-in campaign, and the absence of the 
public imprimateur of Philip K. Dick alien- 
ated the film's real audience— sophisticated, 
intelligent adults, not Star Wars and Star 
Trek fans. 

Perhaps Scott or the studio think they were 
being clever by trying to publically 
disassociate the film from "science fiction," 
from Phil Dick's novel, from being 
something beyond "action-adventure." 

Whether this commercial strategy turns 
out to be commercially correct or not, it is 
bloody well untrue. Blade Runner is an essen- 
tially true translation of Do Androids Dream 
of Electric Sheep?, it is a serious film for 
adults, and it is more of a real science-fiction 
film than just about anything else has been. 
Flaws and all, it is a minor masterpiece at the 
least, and anyone looking for a real science 
fiction film of truly serious intent should go 
see it. * 



Sfi STARLOG/November 1982 




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Reviewed By ED NAHA 

I was born in the year of somebody's 
Lord, 1950. 
Now, depending on your chronologi- 
cal persuasion, you are probably sitting there 
thinking "My goodness, he missed out on 
Hiroshima and other technological feats of 
the forties, poor kid" or "Good god! He's 
even older than Uncle Ralph's house. . .the 
one with the cruddy rain gutters." 

What the heck. 

The point is this: I grew up (sort of) as 
science fiction was really coming into its own 
in film. During the early 1950s, movie pro- 
ducers, their backs pushed against the 
economic wall by that nasty newcomer 
known as TV, decided to pull out all the stops 
in order to try to lure large audiences back in- 
to a nation of half-empty movie theaters. 

And what was the largest audience they 
could go after? Why, the youth audience, 
of course. (Sure as hell they weren't going 



to try for the adults. The adults were at 
home watching Playhouse 90. And wobody 
at American International Pictures was 
about to film Requiem for a Teenage 
Heavyweight.) 

One of the genres the studios hit on to at- 
tract the post-pube mob was science fiction, 
in every form possible. Some of the resulting 
pictures were pretty imaginative (Them, The 
Thing, War of the Worlds), some were a tad 
less so (Rocketship-XM, World Without 
End), still others were sub-moronic (Plan 9 
From Outer Space, Robot Monster). 

The deal was, no matter how good or bad 
the film was, you sat (or squirmed) through it 
good-naturedly. After all, there were people 
up there on that screen going through some 
heavy experiences! (I mean, really, try to im- 
agine taking a boat trip down the Amazon 
and suddenly having your girlfriend picked 
up by the Creature from the Black Lagoon. 
Nobody ever has to worry about that stuff in 
your neighborhood . . . not even in singles 



bars.) 

Science fiction, of course, has changed 
over the years. For better or worse, audiences 
today want verisimilitude in their celluloid 
SF. (Way back when, it didn't really matter if 
films like Invaders from Mars or The Day the 
Earth Stood Still were endorsed by Carl 
Sagan or not. You were satisfied that the 
movie scared the hell out of you or maybe put 
a couple of new thoughts in your skull.) 

Yet, with very few exceptions, even the 
most scientifically palatable, hardware- 
laden, effects-oriented films in the recent SF 
crop have had one thing in common. . . 
they've all stressed the human element (with 
the possible exclusion of 2001— which was 
either the most profound philosophical 
statements on futurism ever put on film or the 
longest hardware commercial in recent 
memory). 

What the heck. 

Whether it's the futuristic rumblings of 
Silent Running or the fantasy doings of Star 




Above: A Flynn-designed Recognizer bears down on tank manned by the Flynn-written program, CLU. Below: Bruce Boxleightner asTRON 
races for his life in a light cycle. 




Wars or the down-to-earth spaceiness of 
E.T., the human condition is always in the 
foreground; fighting the good fight against 
whatever seemingly impossible odds the 
scriptwriters come up with. 

Which, in a perversely circuitous way, 
brings us to TRON, Walt Disney Studios' re- 
cent, opulant, computer-graphics-drenched 



adventure. Touted by its creators as the com- 
puterized equivalent of The Wizard of Oz, 
TRON is, in a word, disappointing. 

Why? 

Because, like the Tin Woodsman who once 
stumbled through the first, uncomputerized 
Oz, TRON lacks something that all good 
movies must have a lot of. . . heart. 



Prior to its release, all those connected with 
TRON promised state-of-the-art visual 
whammies, never-before-seen computer- 
dictated perspectives, dazzling light displays 
and marvelous scenes of video games come 
live. 

TRON delivers all that. 

No question. 



60 STARLOG/November 1982 



What TRON never delivers, however, is a 
sense of spirit, a sense of human drive, that 
intangible something that allows an audience 
to root for the hero and hiss the villain, that 
invites us to participate both emotionally and 
mentally. In TRON, the audience is reduced 
to voyeurism — transformed into an amalgam 
of passive types who are asked to watch the 
largest video game in existence but are never 
invited to play. 

The actual story of TRON is pretty simple. 
(A real boon for the very young moviegoer 
and odd folks like myself whose minds tend 
to wander if a semi-intelligent thought isn't 
uttered on the screen every 20 minutes or so.) 

TRON begins in the real world. (You 
know, the non-fantasy one we live in current- 
ly being run by religous fanatics, racists and a 
70-year-old ex-actor with shellacked hair. 
Reality.) 

A young computer genius named Flynn 
(Jeff Bridges) — owner, operator and resident 
virtuoso of a video arcade — is hankering to 
break into a computer system owned by EN- 
COM, a huge communications con- 
glomerate. Nasty ENCOM employee Dill- 
inger (David Warner in a performance that 
proves it is still possible to roll one's eyes, 
sneer and twitch simultaneously without the 
aid of Carlo Rambaldi) has stolen all of 
Flynn's computer game ideas, taken credit 
for them and had himself named grand 
poobah of the firm. Flynn has been let go. 

Dillinger, however, is really in the clutches 
of the Master Control Program (MCP), a 
Darth Vader-in-a-console type who is out to 
rule the world and parts of Connecticut. 



When not being bullied by the MCP, Dill- 
inger relaxes by mentally torturing grand- 
fatherly Walt Gibbs (Barnard Hughes), an 
old duffer (Walt?) who founded the com- 
pany (at least, one is led to believe that follow- 
ing a brief verbal exchange between the two. 
That little plot point, however, is lost with 
about a dozen more en route to the film's 
finish) and handsome wimp Alan Bradley 
(Bruce Boxleitner). 

Flynn decides to prove Dillinger 's guilt by 
breaking into the MCP aided by his ex-gal 
(and Alan's present gal) Lora (Cindy 
Morgan) and Bradley. While trying to elec- 
tronically jimmy his way into the system, 
Flynn is spotted by the understandably miff- 
ed MCP and zapped with a laser. 

His electronic particles are sent spiraling in- 
to an alternate realm located within the 
system itself. This electronic world is a land 
where computer programs are the humanoid 
alter-egos of the programmers who created 
them, a land where the MCP reigns neo-Nazi 
style and where the local goon squad is led by 
gestapo-lacky Sark (Warner, who keeps on 
twitching). 

Flynn, the only human in town, decides to 
knock out the MCP with the help of warrior 
Tron (Boxleitner), Yori (Morgan) and aged 
keeper of the input/output tower, Dumont 
(Hughes). 

If you think the doings within this com- 
puterworld sound convoluted on paper, it's 
nothing compared to the film. 

Loaded with grids and bizarro mini- 
cityscapes and dotted with video game war- 
riors, solar sailers and the like, this alternate 



plane of existence is unlike anything ever at- 
tempted on the screen. 

It is the product of hours of computerized 
graphics work and painstaking, hand-crafted 
animation. (The tech credits on this film read 
like the white pages of the L. A. phone direc- 
tory and several counties in Taiwan.) 

It is this alternate realm of TRON that 
was the film's big selling point last summer 
and, ultimately, the film's big undoing. 

The computerized wizardry used to create 
this world is breathtaking. TRONland is 
mind-boggling, eye-popping, expertly 
crafted and 100% phantasmagoric. After a 
short time, however, it also proves pretty bor- 
ing .. . sort of like Roselle, New Jersey done 
up in dayglo. 

This netherworld's ever-shifting, light- 
littered panoramas and vistas become, all too 
quickly, nearly impossible to follow. There is 
no sense of perspective in this jumbled grid 
world. The human drama, the fight for sur- 
vival, the struggle against the MCP, is all but 
dwarfed by the chameleonesque geography. 

When characters zip off in their light cycles 
and speed down swirling gridways, you never 
really get the sense that there dispeople inside 
those cartoon-sleek machines. You might as 
well be watching matchbox cars tooling along 
the kitchen's lineoleum roadways. 

When an electronic warrior dies during one 
of the battles-to-the-death, the audience 
never senses any pain or loss. The guy lights 
up like a neon sign for a Dew Drop Inn and 
fades away. Nifty to behold. Next effect, 
please. 

In short, all sense of humanity is lost within 



David Warner as Sark, first lieutenant to the evil Master Control Program (pictured in background). 




t 



start nc,/ November 1982 61 



TRON's pulsating energy world. 

And that, ultimately, is what excludes the 
audience from the adventure. All the com- 
puter graphics, all the tongue-in-cheek snap- 
py patter based on computer slang, all the 
hairy chase sequencs cannot prevent the 
movie's 53 minutes of surrealistic splendor 
from becoming static. 

What writer/director Steve Lisberger has 
neglected to include in his state-of-the-art ef- 
fects film is a solid story. Initially, we have a 
hero who shows a lot of promise. Bridge's 
Flynn is perfectly schizoid; vulnerable yet 
self-righteous, flippant yet frightened. But as 
soon as he enters the computer world, his per- 
sonality is whittled down to something ap- 
proaching all the complexity of Pac-Man. 
Unlike life in the outside world, life in 
TRONland seems solidly one-dimensional. 
People don't interact with each other like real 
people. They recite lines like cartoon 
characters (no offense intended to Rocky and 
Bullwinkle) . They talk at each other. They try 
heroic stunt after heroic stunt. 

That sort of simplistic scenario may dazzle 
the very, very young (and this isn't supposed 
to be a juvenile epic, remember) or those at- 
tending the theater while under the influences 
of a mind-altering drug (or a tight hat). The 
rest of us, however, feel left out. 

We are the audience used to dealing with 
and caring about people. We're the ones who 
root for Luke Skywalker, cheer for Super- 
man, cry for E.T. and gasp as George 
Sanders stages a showdown with the Midwich 
cuckoos using only his mind. 



We're the folks who, day to day, ex- 
perience the unexpected twists that real life 
takes and want to see those twists amplified, 
expanded and expounded on in our 
speculative fiction. We know those twists 
aren't simplistic. We know they don't always 
take positive turns but, what the heck, that's 
what makes things interesting. 

(As I write this, for instance, a woman I 
care about very much is sitting in the next 
room. She's leaving the country— for good— 
in a few weeks. I am less than thrilled. In a 
Preston Sturgess movie, I'd stop the plane 
from taking off. In a John Carpenter film, 
I'd be hit by the plane and probably ruin my 
shoes. Both films, however, would stress a 
human reaction. In TRON, I'd probably be 
computer enhanced into neon status before I 
even get a chance to make it to the airport. I'd 
spend the rest of my life as a beacon for stray 
solar sailers.) 

What the heck. 

Now, you may think, if TRON really does 
reduce Flynn's quest to comic strip status, 
then surely there must be a redeeming 
subplot; a philosophical statement that will 
somehow make this trip through the elec- 
tronic looking glass worthwhile. 

Nope. Honest. 

TRON is a story about a mean-old com- 
puter that's getting meaner and stronger all 
the time thanks to a weak-willed human 
henchman. In the end, the young hero whups 
the wimp villain and beats the machine back 
into its proper subservient status, it's a case of 
man triumphing over machine. Innovative 



stuff, eh? 

If I seem excessively harsh in dealing with 
TRON, I don't mean to be. In it's own, loopy 
way, the film is a feast for the eyes. It just 
seems a shame that, with all the money, the 
care and the time poured into the motion pic- 
ture's visuals, nobody bothered to develop an 
emotional storyline that would match the in- 
tensity of the computerized end of things, a 
storyline involving people you care about. 

TRON never bothered to take heed of a 
lesson that many moviemakers learned back 
in the 1950s. Special effects can never make a 
movie. (OK. Granted that many of thespecial 
effects back then weren't all that special but, 
well, you get the idea.) 

It's not that TRON is a bad movie. 

It's not. 

But it is a dull movie . . . and dull movies are 
something that we already have enough of. 
Just check the week's TV listing. 

On his next outing, writer/director 
Lisberger might want to invest a bit more time 
in nurturing his characters, in stressing the 
type of emotional turmoil that we, the au- 
dience, experience daily and can identify 
with. Hell, even Superman cries on the 
screen. We don't think less of him for it, 
either. 

He has a heart and, for all his comic book 
qualities, he is human. 

We care. 

Now, if you'll excuse me. I have a plane to 
try to stop. 

What the heck. I didn't really want these 
shoes, anyway. * 



FUTURE 
CONVENTIONS 

Here is the latest listing of the upcoming conventions. If 
you have any questions about the cons listed . please send a 
self-addressed, stamped envelope to the address below 
the name of the con. As always, guests and features are 
subject to ; last-minute changes. Conventioneers, please 
note: To insure that your con is listed on our calendar, 
please send all pertinent information no later than 6 months 
prior to the event to starlog Convention Calendar, 475 
Park Ave. South, New York, NY 10016. 



FANDERSON (Gerry Anderson) 

with David Hirsch and STARLOG' s Birthday Fantasy 

Bloomsbury Centre Hotel 

London, England October 8-10. 1982 

Pamela Barnes 
88a Thornton Avenue 
Chiswick, London 
England W4 1QQ 

CREATION CONVENTIONS 
(SF/Fantasy/Film/Comics) 

Biftmore. Los Angeles, CA 10/23-24/82 

JackTar, San Francisco, CA 10/30-31/82 

San Oiego Hotel, San Diego, CA 11/13-14/82 

Centre Hotel, Philadelphia, PA 11/20-21/82 

Roosevelt, New York, NY 11/26-28/82 

Biftmore , Los Angeles , CA 12/4-5/82 

Marriot, Washington, DC 1/8-9/83 

Creation Conventions, inc. 
Box 7155 

Garden City. NY11530 
(516) 747-2033 

FANTA SCI CON THREE 

with Kerry O'Quinn and STARLOG's Birthday Fantasy 
Middletown, NY October 24, 1982 

Jeffrey Kaplan 
37 Red Barn Lane 
Middletown, NY 10940 



MID-0HI0-C0N III 

(SF/Comics/Cards) 

with STARLOG's Birthday Fantasy 
Quality Inn Park Place 
Mansfield, OH 

Roger A. Price 
c/o March of Dimes 
1090 Lexington Avenue 
Mansfield. OH 44907 

CYMRUC0N 2 

Central Hotel 
Cardiff, England 

Registrations Cymrucon 
28 Claude Road 
Roath. Cardiff 
England 
(0222) 493590 



STAR TREK/SF CONVENTION 



February 4-6, 1983 



November 13, 1982 



0MNIC0N IV 

Oceanside Holiday Inn 
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 

0MNIC0N IV 
P.O. Box 970308 
Miami. FL 33197 
(305) 253-6842 

SF AND FANTASY SYMPOSIUM 



February12-13,1983 



November 27-28, 1982 



Hartford, CT 

HSTC 

P.O. Box 632 

Willimanatic, CT 06226 

CHATTACON 8 (SF) 

Read House Hotel 
Chattanooga, TN 

Cattacon 
P.O. Box 921 
Hixson. TN 37343 
(615)479-8119 

COSTUME CON 

Bahia Hotel 

San Diego. CA 

FANtasy Costumers Guild 

P.O. Box 1947 

Spring Valley. CA 92077 

RA CON (SF) 

Grosvernor Centre Hotel 
Edinbugh, Scotland 

Jim Darroch 
21 Corslet Road 
Currie. Midlothian 
Scotland EH14 5LZ 



November 28, 1982 



January 14-16, 1983 



January 14-16. 1983 



February 4-6, 1983 



Emory University 
Atlanta, GA 

Psi Phi 

Box 2 1205- Emory University 

Atlanta. GA 30322 

(404) 644-9251 

CONSTELLATION CON '83 
(SF/Fantasy/Fact) 

Empress Hotel & Harbour Towers 

Victoria , Canada February 1 8-21 , 1 983 

Constellation Con '83 
Box 15-805 Cecil Blogg Dr. 
Victoria. British Columbia 
Canada V9C 3H8 
(604)478-1952 

WICHAC0N II (SF/Fact) 

Holiday Inn Plaza 

Wichita, KS March11-13.1983 

Wichacon II 

211 North Oliver Drive 

Wichita. KS 67208 

C0ASTC0N 82 (SF/Fantasy) 

Royal D' Iberville Hotel 
Biloxi, MS 

Coastcon. Inc. 
P.O. Box 1423 
Biloxi. MS 39533 
(601)896-1142 

' ' STARLOG's Birthday Fantasy. ' ' a 1 5-minute 16mm color 
film, is available for screenings at conventions, schools 
and libraries in the U.S.. Canada and England only. 
Organizers in the U.S. and Canada should contact Damon 
Santostefano. c/o this department (see address at top of 
column). In England, please contact Pamela Barnes, c/o 
Fanderson, P.O. Box 308. London W4 1QL. England. 



March 12-14, 1983 



62 STARLOG/November 1982 



By Popular Demand THE BEST OF 

1TAPIOG 




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Due to overwhelming response to 
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Each page of this fabulous maga- 
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Interviews with Mark Hamill, 
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(continued from page 26) 



Making Fun 

Lupo sits back and adds, "Again, it's those 
things that make the show fun. It's the little 
things like Carlyle badgering Maxwell. They 
don't have to play 50 minutes on the screen as 
long as you know that whenever Maxwell 
runs into a problem, whenever he racks up 
the car, everyone know what this guy is going 
to go for. When Ralph misses a class or Mr. 
Knight spots him out a window and he knows 
the bell already rang, everyone sympathizes 
with him. And there is no explanation. 
There's nothing that they can tell these peo- 
ple. And that's what makes the whole situa- 
tion fun to write and to watch." 

This season we may finally see reporters 
and police catch on to Ralph's activities. 
After all, these days he's the only red-clad fly- 
ing force for truth, justice and the American 
way. There were a few close calls last year, 
helping set the stage for more sightings. 




Babs Greyhoskey joined the series last sum- 
mer as a new staff writer. 

Hasburgh explains that Carlyle, Maxwell's 
FBI boss, will continue to dismiss Pam and 
Ralph whenever they get involved in a case. 
"He just thinks that Bill Maxwell's taste in 
friends is questionable. I mean that's 
typical," Hasburgh says. "When Carlyle sees 
Maxwell, he's so incensed with the guy — ob- 
viously he's surrounded by these assholes 
again— he's so obsessed with Maxwell that 
he's more interested in how this jerk keeps 
doing what he's doing because he's making 
Carlyle look like a chump. 

"The logic doesn't have to be bulletproof. 
We have a guy with a red suit so we can sus- 
pend some of the reality. It's like Star Trek. 
You love the show, you love the characters, 
so you're willing to suspend some of the reali- 
ty in order to make the story work. It's not 
that we're irresponsible writers, it's just 
that . . . well, it's OK on Ozzie and Harriet for 
the guy next door not to have a job ... " 

"Or change his sweater," Greyhoskey 
adds. 

To the three, it's the opportunity to add 
characters like Carlyle or the weekly heavy to 

64 STARLOG/November 1982 



make the show more fun. Greyhoskey says, 
"Steve's a wonderful observer of characters. 
He's got a recollection of people he's known 
since he was a kid that's wonderful. He brings 
all that texture to his scripts and it works out 
very nicely." 

"Heavies aren't always guys with bent 
noses and 42-inch necks," Hasburgh adds. 
"A lot of times they're unique, neurotic little 
people. I mean, Al Capone used to get up in 
the morning and he didn't feel well. No one 
ever talks about that. I know him personally 
and he never talks about it. 

"I had a lot of fun writing the Byron 
Bigsby character in the accounting show. The 
character thought it was his god-given right to 
make the world an OK place to live by paying 
taxes." [Fountains:reality — ] 

Lupo pipes up, "I think that one of the 
wonderful things about the show, and I've 
worked with a lot of good, talented people 
starting with Glen Larson at Universal, is that 
these people are incredible. Patrick and Babs 
and Juanita and Steve. I think what's 
wonderful about each of us is we all have 
very, very strange senses of humor. That we 
all see things. . ." 

"Sick," finishes Greyhoskey. 

"And in a very different light. We can 
write along the same lines and we know the 
characters but we each bring a different touch 
in the way that we view Ralph's problem, and 
Bill's and Pam's." 

working Together 

Stephen J. Cannell Productions is a small 
company where everybody works on every- 
thing together. When asked what makes story 
editor different than staff writer, Hasburgh 
; stops to think while Greyhoskey replies, "He 
I has more furniture in his office than I do." 
< When it's time for story conferences, 
5 whoever is available gathers together and 
1 works out ideas. Hasburgh elaborates by say- 
E ing, "We do some of our stories in-house. 
One of us comes up with an idea and we all 
like it or whatever and we try and go with it 
and we'll all kind of pitch in and plot it and 
whoever's free will write it. 

"What I'll do as story editor is, if there's 
some writing changes that have to be made 
for production reason— if for example they 
can't shoot at night and they have to shoot at 
day— I have to change it in the script . Or if the 
script is a little long and we want something 
cut or changed, me or somebody else who's 
available will go in and fix it. We're all so lazy. 
Whoever feels like working, good, 'Here, do 
that. Fix my act four.' It really works better 
that way because I don't mind if I go away on 
vacation and someone has to change some- 
thing on my script." 

Greyhoskey adds, " In a lot of shows and at 
a lot of companies, there's a real echelon with 
'You're the story editor, you do this.' And, 
'You're the writer, you only do that.' That's 
not the case here." 

"Normally, I, as most writers have, sit 
alone and work out stories and wrestle with 
them and it's very lonely," Lupo says. 
"Here, you're in a room with Babs, and Steve 
and Juanita and Patrick and between all of us 
it's faster, a much quicker process. There are 



a lot of strong 'Nos.' They really keep you 
honest. This is a writer's company; the writer 
is really top man on the pole around here. 
Everyone works together and we try and stay 
close with the cast. We all have very, very 
similar ideas as to what the series should be 
and when a writer gets an idea and writes it 
down, everyone does their utmost to make 
sure that it comes out." 

"Frank has an excellent story mind," 
Greyhoskey volunteers. "He's very sharp 
when it comes to working out a story, finding 
what the problems are, zeroing in on how to 
fix something and I think his speed in dealing 
with stories is his biggest asset because you're 
working on such a tight deadline in episodic 
television." 

' ' Steve and Juanita have been very quick to 
grasp new ideas and Juanita is certainly very 
facile at taking an idea and spinning great 
tales from it," Lupo adds. 

Regardless of the idea, it all comes down to 
the concept of how will having superpowers 
truly affect one's life. "I think it kind of has 
the Midas touch," Hasburgh explains. 
"What if you could be a superhero and be 
blessed with all these superpowers, it would 
be the ideal situation for you but the reality is 
a lot different. Not only that, you have this 
tremendous responsibility to save the world 
because you have the ability. It's not like the 
other can do it. Sometimes you're the only 
one who can do it, but you might want to go 
to a ballgame or sleep with your wife. It 
would become a problem; it's kind of reflec- 
tive of everyone's experience. I'm delighted 
being in television. I always thought it would 
be great to do writing and be in Hollywood 
and the reality of it is that it's real hard. 
There's a lot of work that goes into this. The 
dream of doing something special ends up be- 
ing a lot harder. For example, Mick Jagger. I 
mean, it's probably a real bummer being a 
superstar every single day of your life. " [Ed. 
note: Jagger runs seven miles a day and works 
out constantly to stay in top condition for 
performing.] 

The trio looks forward to a productive and 
successful new season on GAH. They feel the 
show, with a potentially stronger audience on 
Friday nights, will run the full 22 episode 
season. Meanwhile, Cannell has several other 
projects already in development. 

The first project is The Quest, an ABC 
series immediately following GAH. Bartlett 
will be executive producer and will receive 
help from story editor Hasburgh. Lupo says 
he has already written one script for the 
adventure show and will probably do more. 
Like GAH, it will blend in high adventure, 
human characters and more than enough 
humor as the four stars go around the world 
to prove who has the best qualities to become 
King or Queen of tiny Glendora. 

"We feel very strongly about the series and 
we feel it is going to perform," Lupo says. 
"ABC's feeling is that we're going to garner 
an audience that does not watch Dallas or go 
to another network [where NBC will be 
showing Glen Larson's new series Knight 
Rider] and just tunes out completely because 
there's nothing for them in that slot at all. So, 
we're going to take them back." * 



Reviewed By RON COULART 



ALL PHOTOS 



In these days of multi-million dollar 
movie flops and rumors of the imminent 
decline and fall of Hollywood, Steven 
Spielberg is frequently mentioned as a possi- 
ble savior of the film industry. While others 
turn out monumental turkeys, almost 
everything Spielberg touches breaks all 
previous box office records. He's being hail- 
ed as a latter day Disney, another Thalberg, a 
Goldwyn who can talk straight. Actually, 
though, he's more the Ronald McDonald of 
the movies. A chap who's able to take the 
same old basic ingredients and make them 
palatable to an enormous number of people. 
All the Spielberg films are done well, ex- 
tremely well, but there is a coolness and a 
calculation about them. His horror and fan- 
tasy movies have a slick and glossy look, sort 
of like TV commercials with goose pimples. 

Which brings us to Poltergeist. 

According to the credits, Spielberg co- 
produced the film, co-wrote the screenplay, 
cooked up the original story and delegated 
the directing to Tobe Hooper. Not quite an 
Orson Welles' one-man band performance, 
but close enough. And most reviewers and 
critics are referring to it as a Spielberg film. 

Basically Poltergeist is one more go-round 
of the dependable "Oops! We've moved into 
a haunted house!" plot. This particular 
haunted house is not situated on a bleak 
stretch of the moors but smack in the middle 
of a tract of absolutely identical California 
suburban dream homes. It's inhabited by a 
standard suburban family named Freeling. 
The youngest of their three children, a blonde 
little girl, becomes the focus of increasingly 
spooky happenings and finally the hapless 
tyke is sucked into a sort of limbo which 
seems to exist just off one of the upstairs 
rooms. After parapsychologists and a midget 
freethinking ghostbreaker are called in, the 
child returns and we learn that all these dread- 
ful things occurred because Freeling's un- 
thinking bosses built this subdivision right 
smack atop an old cemetery. The spirits of the 
dead are apparently ticked off at having car- 
ports, swimming pools and barbecue pits oc- 
cupying their sacred ground. The movie, 
however, also implies that some of the ghosts 
are lost souls tyring to get free of Earth and 
onto the next plane of existence. Whatever 
their motives, by the end of the film the 
spooks have violated all the standard 
poltergeist rules of conduct anyway and 
whatever logic the yarn had has been sacri- 
ficed to bigger and better special effects. 

One of the standard reference works on the 
supernatural, Lewis Spence's Encyclopaedia 




A tree outside his bedroom window frightens Freeling's son during a thun- 
derstorm, but his nightmare turns to reality when the tree grabs him. 




A parapsychologist helps Freeling as he cradles the bodies of his wife and young- 
est daughter in his arms after their return from another dimension. 



S,1AR\.OG/November 1982 65 



of Occultism, defines the poltergeist 
phenomenon this way: "The name given to 
supposed supernatural causes of outbreaks 
of rappings, inexplicable noises and similar 
disturbances which from time to time have 
mystified men of science as well as the general 
public. The term poltergeist i.e., PolterGeist, 
(rattling ghost) is sufficiently indicative of the 
character of these beings, whose manifesta- 
tions are, at best, puerile and purposeless 
tricks, and not infrequently display an openly 
mischievous and destructive tenden- 
cy. . . disturbances are always observed to be 
particularly active in the neighborhood of 
one person, generally a child or young 
woman. ."." Spence goes on to point out 
that, not surprisingly, these children and 
young women often turn out to be the ones 
who are causing the supposedly occult hap- 
penings. Spielberg's noisy ghosts begin by 
playing pranks, but very soon turn nasty. In 
the last moments of the film, when graves 
open and decayed corpses start popping up 
while the Freeling's house folds up and col- 
lapses into a heap of rubble, we've gone 
beyond poltergeists and into plain and simple 
special-effects fireworks. 

I guess you shouldn't let this lack of 
coherence bother you, since we don't look for 
logic and a well-made plot on a rollercoaster 
ride or a visit to a funhouse and video games 
aren't noted for their compelling narratives. 
What's wanted is thrills, chills and spills, 
noise and flash. Watchers of movies like 
Poltergeist, the majority of them anyway, 



have similar expectations. Most critics go 
along with them. New York magazine, for in- 
stance, said "the story is nonsense," but 
found the film "sensationally effective" and 
declared "the horror imagery is beautiful." 
Although Vincent Canby of The New York 
Times professed to find a graspable plot, he 
did feel "the structure of the film is not 
perfect." However, he thought, "more im- 
portant are the film's technical effects." I, 
too, while sitting there watching the picture 
was caught up in it and impressed with the ef- 
fects. I also found JoBeth Williams, who 
plays the mother of the little lost moppet, to 
be extremely watchable. Like almost all hor- 
ror movie heroines, Miss Williams has most 
of her encounters with the supernatural while 
sparsely clad and her handsome body helps 
her a great deal during these moments of 
mystical stress. When the lights come on 
again I found myself feeling somewhat guilty. 
Guilty the way I feel after having given into 
junk food and then realizing that yet again I'd 
mistaken the package for the contents. 

One further thing that bothered me was the 
innocence of all the victims in Poltergeist. 
When it comes to horror, I much prefer that 
the victims of hauntings, demonic attacks 
and other unspeakable evils be in some way 
responsible for what befalls them. It's more 
satisfying to me to see a fellow who signed a 
pact with the devil get his comeuppance, to 
watch while a scientist who was warned not to 
tamper with Nature's deep secrets get gobbl- 
ed up by the monster he created. Apparently, 



though, a good many people, including the 
millions who flock to see a movie like this, feel 
they are the innocent victims of all that hap- 
pens to them. Everything, good and bad, is 
due to circumstances beyond their control. 
They buy a cozy home in the country and it 
turns out to have a gateway to Hell in the 
basement, they invite their sweet young sister 
to spend a weekend and she turns out, 
through no fault of her own, to be a 
werewolf, they hire a babysitter so they can go 
out to the latest Spielberg movie and when the 
return they find she's been nailed to the 
nursery wall by an escaped madman. And 
none of it is their fault and they take no 
responsibility for what happens. In real life 
things are often arbitrary. You're walking 
along Madison Avenue and (A) a brick drops 
on your head and kills you instantly or (B) 
you trip over a sack containing $140,000 in 
negotiable bonds. In neither case did you 
connive in your fate. You signed no pact, 
conducted no forbidden experiments, par- 
ticipated in no loathsome rites. This sort of 
happening is fine for the six o'clock news, but 
drama, and that includes melodrama, ought 
to work a little differently. I believe that peo- 
ple in movies like this ought to be responsible 
in some way for what happens to them. As 
the final credits are unrolling over the broken 
bodies and the fallen houses, I want to be able 
to say, "Well, they brought it on 
themselves." Otherwise the spooky manifes- 
tations seem as arbitrary as an airplane crash 
or an attack of legionaire's disease. * 



At first, the spirits infesting Carol Ann's room are playful, levitating her toys, but they will soon become violent. 



- 1962 MGMOJA 




John carpenter's 
The Thing 



F: 



| irst he directed Dark Star, a film so 

| low budget I was surprised it even had 

an average running length. 

Then he directed Assault on Precinct 13, a 

taut little item that demonstrated both style 

and promise on a limited budget. 

These films were followed by Halloween, 
and John Carpenter was suddenly established 
as a major genre director — the type of direc- 
tor who's name above the title guaranteed a 
fervent youth audience. 

That same audience rushed a year later to 
see John Carpenter's The Fog, and were 



Reviewed by Alan Spencer 



greeted by a slow, plodding and stunningly 
predictable mess. 

John Carpenter's Escape From New York 
was next. With this film Carpenter pulled off 
the near impossible: taking a foolproof 
premise and totally botching it up. 

When Universal decided to remake the 
classic fifties horror film The Thing, they 
made a smart decision: to return to the 
original short story by William F. Campbell 
"Who Goes There?" 

That was the only smart decision Universal 
made. 



Part of the tragedy of Hollywood film- 
making is "the deal" in which individuals get 
assignments not by their respective qualifica- 
tions or talents, but instead because they've 
been termed as "hot" commodities. 

So who should get the assignment to script 
this psychological suspense/science fiction/ 
horror thriller? What more logical choice 
than Bill Lancaster, author of The Bad News 
BearsO). Were they hoping to work in kids 
and Walter Matthau somewhere? 

And then John Carpenter entered the pic- 
ture. . .and totally ruined it the moment he 



Kurt Russell as helicopter pilot McReady, the hero of John Carpenter's The Thing. 



tIi 



it t 






As in the Joseph Campbell story, Carpenter's "thing" builds a machine in which to escape, but it's found and destroyed. 



Kenneth Tobey 

on 
John carpenters 

THE THING 

In early July actor Kenneth Tobey, 
star of Howard Hawks' 1951 production 
of The Thing, attended a showing of 
John Carpenter's version of the science fic- 
tion classic accompanied by members of the 
original cast and crew. (For a full report, see 
Log Entries.) For your editification, here are 
Mr. Tobey's opinions of Carpenter's film: 

"Kurt Russell is a damn good actor, and 
gave an excellent performance as MacReady. 
The special effects were absolutely remarka- 
ble. I've never seen effects like those in a film 
before. Rob Bottin is obviously very talented. 
In fact I met him when we were interviewed 
together on TV, and he's a very sweet guy. I 
haven't seen any of John Carpenter's other 
movies, but I think he's a very good director, 
although he was somewhat limited by his ma- 
terial. He showed a wonderful aptitude for 
handling the dramatic scenes, and I'd like to 
see him do a straight drama next. I'd also real- 
ly like to see Halloween now. 

"Carpenter really built up that opening se- 
quence. It was right on target. As soon as I 



saw the dog running, I knew what was hap- 
pening. I knew it portended something bad, 
and I just ached for that poor animal. 

"I thought the most exciting scene was the 
blood test. When Russell put the heated cop- 
per wire in the dish and the blood jumped, I 
leaped out of my seat. That reminded me of 
our scene where I opened the door and the 
'thing' was there, and we closed it on his arm. 
The blood test was the most exciting scene in 
John Campbell's story 'Who Goes There?', 
and I always wished we could have done it in 
our picture. 

"On the other hand, while I appreciated 
that Carpenter tried to put Campbell's story 
on film, I now realize that was an almost im- 
possible task. I doubt if the story could be 
told in visual terms. Because of the interna- 
lized drama I think it could only be told in 
narrative form, where everything doesn't 
have to be shown. The way Carpenter did it 
he ran into some trouble, because he had to 
have so many graphic special effects. 

"The effects were so explicit that they ac- 
tually destroyed how you were supposed to 
feel about the characters. They became al- 
most a film in themselves , and were a little too 
horrifying. The emphasis on effects took 
away from the human story that has to be 
told in order to capture the audience's 
sympathy. 

"When you make a monster movie, the 
audience teto be able to root for somebody. 



Usually they root for of the humans. In this 
one there was nobody to root for, because 
you didn't know who was human and who 
wasn't. And with Russell wearing a beard and 
parka, sometimes you couldn't tell the actors 
apart. 

"I also thought it was wrong for the ending 
to be so inconclusive, instead of showing 
good winning out over evil. I don't think it 
was fair to do that to the audience, unless it 
was just to set up a sequel. I know the ending 




Ken Tobey starred in the original, classic, 
The Thing. 



68 STARLOG/November 1982 



did. 

I've seen John Carpenter's The Thing 
twice. Once with a paying audience, and the 
second time in a private screening at a pro- 
ducer's home. 

Both times the reactions were the same. 
Then again, when anyone passes by a city 
dump . . . who on earth likes the smell? 

John Carpenter's The Thing smells, and 
smells pretty bad. It bears plenty of 
Carpenter's trademarks as a director. It has 
no pace, sloppy continuity, zero humor, 
bland characters on top of being totally 
devoid of either warmth or humanity. 

It says a great deal that Carpenter has been 
quoted to the effect of being "surprised' ' that 
this newest abomination hasn't garnered 
either box office or critical success. 

The Thing is Carpenter's futile attempt to 
give the audience what he thinksthey want. It 
amounts to little more than two hours of 
makeup test footage. 

The release of this film also comes as one of 
the prime examples of cinematic bad timing. 
To release a cold and sterile horror effects 
movie against the optimism of E.T., the 
reassuring return of Star Trek II, the 
technical perfection of TRON and the sheer 
integrity of Blade Runner, is the ultimate slap 
in the face to a movie hoping to "cash in" 
quickly on the genre audience. 

If you're waiting for me to discuss the 
specifics of the movie itself, in all honesty I 
don't have a great deal to say. Still, this is sup- 
posed to be a review of the film, so now let's 
turn to it. 

I must admit to finding the first eight 
minutes of John Carpenter's The Thing ar- 



was more realistic than ours was, but there's a 
difference between realism and art. Some- 
times you have to do things for art's sake that 
aren't realistic. In order to make the art suc- 
cessful, you may have to compromise the rea- 
lism and have the story end satisfactorily for 
the audience, otherwise they may not fully 
appreciate all the good stuff they've seen. 

"I think Carpenter made a mistake by in- 
cluding visual references to our picture. It was 
a little too obvious to duplicate the same 
shots, like the men standing in a circle on the 
ice to measure the size of the flying saucer and 
the man on fife running across the snow. I'm 
sure Carpenter has more imagination than 
that. I realize he had to show something, but 
he should have found another way to do it. 
All he did was to take me out of his story and 
put me back into our story. 

"As a matter of fact, I don't think he 
should have called this film The Thing at all. 
He should have called it Who Goes There? It 
wasn't the same as the first picture, so it 
shouldn't have the same title. 

"Nevertheless, if I were going to rate the 
movie, on balance I'd give it about an 80 
— which is a grade of 'B' — for special effects 
and excitement and an attempt to do some- 
thing truthful and spectacular. Actually I 
hope it's a hit, because the bigger the success 
it is the more our version will be talked 
about." 

— Steve Swires 




Richard Dysart as Dr. Copper, one of the new thing's victims. 



resting and interesting, but that's it. 

The film takes place almost entirely at an 
Antarctic scientific research station. 
Carpenter uses this locale to about the same 
effect as blood on a snow cone. In other 
words, atmosphere is used to no other pur- 
pose than to establish cold. 

Then comes the characters, and first let me 
say that not one of the ensemble of actors in 
this film can be faulted. They did the best they 
could working with inferior material so light 
it could have been typed on cotton. Chilly 
could be used as the word to describe the 
characters as well as their climate. 

To be exact, this film doesn't have charac- 
ters. . .it has victims. Every actor is left to 
playing the same thing: impersonal drones 
readying for special-effects deaths. 

We are even incapable of caring for the 
lead character, despite the fact he's played by 
Kurt Russell, a fine, inventive actor who 
seems to excell whenever he's away from 
Carpenter's direction (with Elvis being the 
sole exception). 

As for the plot, it's merely a thin excuse for 
various sideshow grotesqueries like crawling 
limbs and animated decapitated heads. 

Looking at the film from a purely technical 
end, it's faultless (aside from the music, 
which barely exists). Cinematography, sound 
and editing all are state of the art. Yet, these 
qualities have become expected, even passe, 
in these days of fantasy moviemaking. 
What's needed is something unique and in- 
dividual from the director behind the camera. 
That undefinable ingredient from the 
moviemaker that let's us know he cares about 
and loves what he's creating. 

The only aspect of this film that possesses 
that quality comes from young Rob Bottin. 
His makeup is sheer perfection, possibly even 
genius. Bottin has always taken both care and 
pride in his craft, but for this film his talent 
has been sadly misued. It's almost like hiring 
Van Gogh to repaint a park bench. 

It's safe to say that Bottin's makeup is the 
only element of John Carpenter's The Thing 
that held my interest. Better it should be call- 



ed Rob Bottin's The Thing, for if this film 
belongs to anyone, it's certainly him. 

There is entertainment value to this film, 
but it's purely unintentional. John 
Carpenter's The Thing is as hilarious as Ar- 
thur in many spots. 

For example, how could anyone keep a 
straight face when Kurt Russell, faced with 
"the ultimate in alien terror," yells to the 
creature "F-k you too!" 

And where is story logic when Carpenter 
and Lancaster have already established every 
part of The Thing as a separate, deadly and 
reproductive organism! So what do they have 
their hero do? Toss dynamite at the monster 
blowing it into a thousand pieces! The more 
the merrier! Spread the wealth! Could it be 
the set up for a thousand sequels? 

It's my contention that John Carpenter 
was never meant to direct a science-fiction 
horror movie. Here's some things he'd be 
better suited to direct: Traffic accidents, train 
wrecks and public floggings. 

If you haven't seen John Carpenter's The 
Thing and are wondering if you should . . . 
don't. If you want to see John Carpenter's 
The Thing. . . don't. Watch /IZJE/Vagain in- 
stead becaues this film couldn't make it on a 
drive-in triple bill as the "make out" movie. 

If John Carpenter is to continue directing 
films, he'd better wise up. It's not enough to 
have a good idea. You must have vision and 
the ability to realize it. 

It's not enough to put your name over the 
title. You must have evidence of your heart, 
mind and soul on that screen. 

It's not enough to only show the grotesque. 
You must explore it and its relation to man 
beyond the more exploitation of simple 
depiction. 

Carpenter says he's "obssessed with the in- 
sanity of evil and it's immortal quality." If 
John Carpenter's The Thing were about that, 
I would have been interested. 

Instead he made this film, and I have no 
idea what it's about. 

Correction, I do know what it's about. 

It's about two hours. * 



SJARLOG/November 1982 69 



The Lighter Side of Summer 
Cinema— Part 2 



By PHIL FOCLIO 



WHEN I r/ftsr SAW 'STftRTREK" 
tMK IN 1966, 1 FELL IN LOVE 
WITH MR. SFOCK. LIKE ME, HE 
WAS MISUNDERSTOOD ANPfllONE 
IN THE UNWERSE. 



THEN, WHEN I -JoiNEP FANODM, 
Z FOUNO THfiTT OWLVBE MR. 
SPOCK •• TAL fr LIKE HIM, PRESS 
LIKE HIM, OPEN BEER CANS WW 
AIYEAdS LIKE HIM, MY LIFE 

Hftv purpose. 



OHMoa! I klHlytic sou*, cosiurit! 
vihkt /mt you" A VRoiV KEPnm-mn ? XM 

l*JOi*Nfl J0Mf5, YOU CAhl CALL me inVYT 



OH h/CU).' yOU GONNA Pi/7 YOUS VROID SACK 

tOGErxW crn it mow cm n talk? 

PiD IT OCT MMOEP u/WW THI + Bl£uI UP 
Tut VIKTMSTKH? YOU K»«M set AtV 
BuU-WHfP^ TOM-7 motif**, I HMEH'T HIT 
AUYBODY IU IJICKC'. 




70 STARLOG/November 1982 



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available for collectors. Only $5.95 each. Send check 
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BUTTONS: E.T., Star Trek II, Star Wars, Blade + 
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GALACTICA CUBITS Die coined brass replicas of 
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and collector! Catalog $1 .00 (Refundable) FREE with 
purchase! FANTASY TRADERS, P.O. BOX 82505, 
PITTSBURGH, PA. 15218. 




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STARLOC/November 1982 71 



CAN YOU 

OUTGUESS 

DR. WHO? 




The Game of Time 
and Space 

Doctor Who is a 2-6 player game 
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Doctor Who comes with a full- 
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Send cash, check, 

or money order to: 

Starlog Games, Dept. 

475 Park Avenue South, 

New York, NY 10016. 

Please send me. 



. Doctor Who 
game(s). I enclose $17.98 plus 
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foreign surface) per game. 
Total Enclosed: $ 



NAME 



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NYS residents add sales tax. 



This Month In 




Halloween With 
FANGORIA! 




FANGORIA's number-one holiday will be 
celebrated this year with a spine-tingling 
cover story on the anxiously awaited Hallow- 
een III. An exclusive on-the-set report by El- 
len Carlomagno will fill you in on this ambi- 
tiously different sequel to John Carpenter's 
sensational horror hit. Other terrifying epics 
that will usher in the Halloween season will 
be the George Romero/Stephen King colla- 
boration Creepshow and Amityville II: The 
Possession, both of which will also be cov- 
ered with in-depth, behind-the-scenes stories 
in the colorful Fango style. To top off our 
special holiday slant, readers with a pen- 
chant for scaring the wits out of friends and 
family will cetainly want to catch our story 
on Fear Tek, a company that will teach you 
how to construct your very own haunted 
house full of apparitions and unspeakable 
terror. 

For fantasy fans, Don Coscarelli(thedirector 
of the popular Phantasm) will talk about his 
sword-and-sorcery adventure The Beastmas- 
ter, to provide insights into this exciting fan- 
tasy production not included in the current 
STARLOG coverage. 

The fascinating world of special makeup ef- 
fects will be on display in an exclusive inter- 
view with Doug White of Makeup Effects 
Lab who has supplied the miraculous effects 
for Friday the 13th Part 3- In 3D. Arnold Car- 
giulo, a promising up-and-coming makeup 
artist, will also be interviewed to provide a 
newcomer's point of view on the field that so 
many readers want to break into. 

Issue #22 will also feature glimpses of two of 
the most seductive women in the world of 
horror, Ingrid Pitt (the star of The Vampire 
Lovers and Countess Dracula) and the sultry 
TV horror show host Elvira whose Los 
Angeles antics are soon to be unleashed 
across the nations via syndication. 

Special extras will include the Official Fango 
Library checklist, a compendium of all the 
books required for a complete horror movie 
fan collection, the Draw the Thing winners, 
and the fantastic Video Eye of Dr. Cyclops! 
Need we say more?! 

ON SALE NOW! 



COMING IN 




King Arthur returns— but it's the 
year 3000 and Earth is being invaded 
by aliens. That's the setting for DC 
Comics' Camelot 3000, a 12-issue 
series that we give exclusive coverage 
to the next issue of COMICS SCENE. 
Artist Brian Bolland and writer Mike 
Barr offer their observations on the 
future and on the knights of the round- 
table. Just wait until you see Bolland's 
art on the cover— it's our best yet! 

Also in the next issue we continue 
our discussion with Klaus Janson, 
Tom Palmer, Joe Rubinstein and Bob 
Layton about what inkers do and what 
it means to them. This second part 
details how they adapt their styles to 
different artists and just how the pro- 
cess works. 

Ron Goulart returns to COMICS 
SCENE with a fascinating look at Cap- 
tain Easy, one of the more durable, but 
least known, comic strips today. And 
Max Allan Collins talks about scripting 
the adventures of Dick Tracy and what 
it felt like taking over the strip from 
Chester Gould four years ago. Collins 
also talks about his work on Eclipse's 
Ms. Tree. 

At long last Crusader Rabbit ap- 
pears on our pages. We detail his 
origin and how the show made it onto 
the air and where it's been all this time. 
Rare color art will also be seen. You 
can't miss this one. 
PLUS: Fred Hembeck tickles your 
funny-bone in color, Martin Pasko 
responds to John Byrne's theories on 
Creators' Rights (and wrongs), Howard 
Cruse begins a series on the infamous 
Air Pirate vs. Walt Disney case, and 
we'll also preview the new Saturday 
morning television season. News, let- 
ters, editorials and more will be found 
when this issue goes— 

ON SALE 
NOW! 




Reviewed By bob martin 



"My life fades, the vision dims. An that re- 
main are memories. . .they take me back. . .1 
remember a time of chaos. . . ruined 
dreams. , . this wasted land. Butmostofall, I 
remember the Road Warrior, the man we 
called Max. To understand who he was you 
have to go back, to another time. . . when the 
world was powered by the black fuel, and the 
deserts sprouted great cities of pipe and 
steel. . . " 
—ROAD WARRIOR: Voiceover Introduction 




nee in a while, we find ourselves in a 
I situation where we ask, "what 
' would I do if I were so-and-so?" So I 
asked myself, "what would Mad Max do if he 
were asked to review The Road WarriorV 
Assuming that he agreed with me about it, he 
would probably grunt, and say, "Great 
movie," and the rest of this space would be 
filled with stills from the film. 

But I'm not so generous as Max. And since 
I begged the editor of this magazine for the 
opportunity to say some nice things about the 
film (after all, it is the only film I know of that 
closes with a grateful acknowledgement to 
Mack Trucks), I am definitely going to take 
advantage of the opportunity. 

Just a few years ago, it was believed that 
America had outgrown the need for movie 
heroes. "Anti-heroes" seemed to hold a 
greater appeal to film audiences — wandering 
gunslingers who would litter Italian land- 
scapes with the corpses of the terminally 
stupid, loveable bankrobbers, gangsters who 
expressed their family feeling by decimating 
the families of others. Of course, that was in a 
time of comparative comfort and security in 
this country, and of complacency ... the idea 
of a hero fighting for all that was Right and 
Good seemed, at the time, well. . .corny. 

Nowadays, things aren't so hot, as you can 
see in the papers most any day. Lawlessness 
loses its glamour when your own neigh- 
borhood is threatened. When you're not 
altogether sure that the bank where you 
deposit your paycheck isn't about to run out 
of money, it's hard to love even the most 
lovable bank robber. Suddenly, civilization 
doesn't seem like such a bad idea after all . . . 
and so we have seen the return of the hero in 
the past few years. 

Of course, the Star Wars saga had much to 
do with the heroic trend, but, as the Star Wars 
imitators have risen or fallen on their own 
merits, we have seen a greater number of 
films produced where the figure of the hero 
has been more significant than the presence 
or absence of the familiar elements of SF or 
fantasy. Escape From New York's Snake 
Plissken, Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost 
Ark, Talon the Warrior in The Sword and the 
Sorceror, Major Macready in The Thing, are 
all very different characters — different peo- 
ple when we come to believe in them — but the 
qualities we admire in them, that wrench a 
cheer or a gasp from our throats when they 
face Unspeakable Evil or Incredible Danger, 
are all very much the same. All of them are 
staunch individualists; no one really knows 
them or their pasts, though their actions may 
be the stuff of legend. All of them are mortal 
men, with only mortal abilities — and yet it's 
their human will that. sets them apart from 
other men. All of them seek a goal. Often, it's 
a search that begins in their own self-interest, 
but each of them winds up fighting not just 
for themselves, but for the survival of the 
community that they have shunned. 

The Road Warrior, more than any of the 
previously mentioned films, deliberately 
builds a hero from these elements. In Mad 
Max, the first feature film from writer- 
director George Miller, the world was just 
beginning to fall apart after an unspecified 
holocaust. Max, an Australian motorcycle 













sSfe^&s&v'" 




&&&-■&%! 





cop who loses a friend and then his entire 
family to a lawless motorcycle gang, engages 
them in a fight to the death. It was an exciting 
action picture, and a promising American 
debut for Miller, for producer Byron Ken- 
nedy, and for actor Mel Gibson. 

The Road Warrior fulfills the promise. We 
are introduced again to Max, this time as a 
legendary figure known as the Road Warrior. 
A narration accompanied by stock footage of 
oil refineries, world war, and brief images 
from the first film set the context for the 
adventure that is about to unfold. We find 
Max on the highway, dirtier and more worn 
at the heels than the last time we'd seen him, 
but not much so. 

It may only be a matter of months since 
civilization first started to crack. But, if so, 
things have quickly deteriorated. The 
Australian desert is now known as the 
Wastelands; the gangs have taken over the 
highways. Only those mobile enough to 
scavenge for food survive, and mobility re- 
quires "juice" — gasoline. For a tankful, a 
man will kill. 

Max's own lust for gasoline brings him to a 
small pocket of civilization; a colony of set- 
tlers who have raised a new oil well and 
refinery. Their communal effort has brought 
them fabulous wealth — and has attracted the 
greedy army of desert scavengers, united 
under the heel of the horrible Humungus, a 
metal-masked giant, lovingly referred to as 
"the Ayatollah of Rock and Rollah" by his 



followers. Humungus gives the settlers 24 
hours to walk away from the complex, leav- 
ing the oil behind. In return, he will allow 
them to keep their lives. 

To the colony' s eader, their only hope is to 
make the 2,000-mile trek to Australia's north 
coast, away from the wastelands, taking the 
oil with them. But how are they to smash 
through the gauntlet of desert warriors? 

" If you wanna get out of here, you talk to 
me, " drawls Max in a manner not heard since 
the passing of Duke Wayne. It just so hap- 
pens that he knows the whereabouts of a cab 
that can haul a 16-wheel rig, and for the right 
amount of gasoline, he's willing to deal. . . 

So it is that Max casts his lot in with these 
last vestiges of civilization, eventually making 
their cause his own — at least for the length of 
the fight. Fighting beside him and against him 
are a wide array of fabulous characters. 
Papagallo is the colony's leader. He, too, is a 
hero, though his heroism is more idealist than 
the pragmatic, dogged determination of 
Max. Emil Minty, an eight-year-old actor, is 
astounding as yet another hero — the pint- 
sized Feral Kid, a wild child raised in the 
desert, who swings an awesome and deadly 
stainless steel boomerang. Bruce Spence is 
almost as lovable, in his role as the pilot of an 
autogyro (a one-man helicopter), despite his 
mouthful of blue-green teeth. Virginia Hey is 
stunning as the Warrior Woman, the 
colony's most valiant fighter. And her op- 
posite number, Humungus' chief warrior 




Bruce Spence as the lovable Gyro Pilot. 

Wez, has the ferocity of a mad dog, and the 
haircut of a Plasmatic. 

All of which is to say nothing of the beauty 
of this movie, which comes partly from the 
Australian landscape, but mostly from the 
long sequences told without dialogue that are 
composed with a painter's eye. Nor did I 
mention its frequent humor, which ranges 
from dark to delightful, its incredible road 
battles, and dozens of the most spectacular 
stunts you will ever see on film .... 

Or, in the words of my pal Max, "(grunt) 
Great movie." t- 




STARLOG TRADING POST 



The Book Every Horror 
Film Fan Must Have! 



«r 



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SPACE: 1999 NOTEBOOK 

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he definitive guide to Space: 1999. A handsome, vinyl 
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$13.00 plus postage 



ROBBYTHE ROBOT BLUEPRINT 

A huge wall-size blueprint poster with large front and 
side views that show accurate scale, construction 
details and descriptions with all the circuits and 
functions. This is the original Robby the Robot from 
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LOOKING FOR A FRIEND 



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Yes, that's what everyone said at the latest conven- 
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STARLOG PRESS 

POSTERBOOK 

SERIES 





Posterbook No. 5 



The behind-the-scenes 
story of the biggest 
Bond film yet • Derek 
Meddings' space effects 
• Adams' out-of-this world 
sets • Action-packed 
color photos* full cast 
and credit listing 

Posterbook No. 4 




Featuring in Full- 
Color: Special Effects 

• The Stars of 
Salvage 1 • Behind- 
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Exclusive Interview 
with Creator/Producer 
Mike Lloyd Ross 

Posterbook No. 3 

— Three Superhero 
pin-ups: Hulk, Wonder 
Woman, Superman! All 
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Message from Space, 
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Posterbook No. 1 

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"BATTLESTAR GAL- 
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"THE INCREDIBLE 
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Celebrity Poster 
Heroes #1 

• Full-color ROCKY 
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• Behind-the-scenes 
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• Full cast and credit 
listing 

SPECIAL OFFER!!! 
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Each posterbook, $1.50 plus 
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Sorry, Posterbook No. 2 is SOLD OUT. 





STARLOG TRADING POST 




^jpfi MAN 

BONUSI GIANT POSTER "HW o( K 



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town-the official AMAZING WORLD OF SUPER- 
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more. You'll also visit the real town of Metropolis, 
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find out how a comic book is created . This impres- 
sive, definative volume on Superman is a must for 
all fans. 0NLY $5 . o + postage 



THE OFFICIAL 

STAR TREK II 

MOVIE MAGAZINE 




The Wrath of Khan 

Sure to be the most thrilling 
science fiction film of the 
decade, featuring the original 
cast in a totally new adventure. 
ONLY $3.50 + postage 



U.S.S. ENTERPRISE 
OFFICER'S MANUAL 





OME^. 

U.S.S. ENTERPRISE 








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OFFICER'S MANUAL 





Geoffrey Mandel. author of the Star Fleet Medical 
Reference, and Doug Drexler. one of fandom's 
leading artists, have collaborated to produce the 
most lavish, detailed and exciting STAR TREK book 
ever— U.S.S. Enterprise Officers' Manual. 
Send $11.95 plus $1.50 postage to reserve 
your limited fan edition today! 




The 

Illustrated 

Harlan 

Ellison 



Every page lives! Vivid, color-explosive 
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those ready for anything. 

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STARLOG SCRAPBOOK 







The latest from Starlog Press— 
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STEREO 




STEREO VIEWS 

Stereo Views is a new exciting book which con- 
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glasses are attached inside each front cover. 
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GALACTICA 
IRON-ON 
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KODAK'S 

ANIMATION 

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Kodak's, "The world of Animation," is 

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•152 pages— full color through-ouQ! 



HILDEBRANDT 

ART BOOK 




For years, Tim and Greg Hildebrandt 
have been delighting fans with their ex- 
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tastic characters in faraway places. In 
1978 the Hildebrandts held an exhibition 
of their works at the Maryland Funny- 
brook Festival. In honor of this spec- 
tacular Show THE BROTHERS HILDE- 
BRANDT-A BOOK ABOUT THE ARTISTS 
was published. 

This glossy text contains full-color 
reproductions of many of the brothers' 
best-loved paintings as well as never- 
before published works. A lengthy and 
candid interview with the artists brings 
you into direct contact With the creative 
process as the Hildebrandts discuss their 
art. 

THE BROTHERS HILDEBRANDT-A 
BOOK ABOUT THE ARTISTS is currently 
out of print. Only 7,500 copies of this col- 
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very special offer from STARLOG PRESS, 
you can be the owner of one of these rare 
copies. Send $8.00 plus $1.50 for postage 
and get your copy of this delightful art 
book while they last! 

STAR TREK BLOOPERS 

From the third series of the classic 
science fiction television show, a 
side-splitting compendium of 
behind-the-scenes outtakes. 
Edited from six original on-set 
dialogue tapes (found in a 
Hollywood garbage can), this 
hilarious LP includes: repeatedly 
flubbed scenes, absurd dialogue 
mistakes, crack-ups— and features 
William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy 
DeForrest Kelley and all your other 
Enterprise favorites! 

No Star Trek fan can afford 
to pass this up! 

ONLY $8.98 PLUS POSTAGE 



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ORDER FORM 



Mail to: 

STARLOG TRADING POST 

475 ParK Avenue South 

New York, NY 10016 

Please send me the following: 

Skull $19.95 + $2.60 postage 

Space: 1999 Notebook $13.00 

+ $2.00 postage 
Robby Blueprints $3.00 + $.50 

postage 
STARLOG T-Shirt $6.95 + $1.05 

postage 

Posterbook #1 $1 .50 + $.75 postage 

Posterbook #3 $1.50 + $.75 postage 

Posterbook #4 $1 .50 + $.75 postage 

Posterbook #5 $1.50 + $.75 postage 

Celebrity Poster Heroes $1 .50 + $.75 

postage 
All 5 Posterbooks $5.00 + $1.50 

postage 
Amazing World of Superman Book 

$5.00 + $1.50 postage 
Starlog Scrapbook $2.95 + 

$1.05 postage 
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STARLOG INTERVIEW 

DAVID WARNER 

From Jack The Ripper to the Evil Sark— Playing Heavies 

For Fun & Profit 



By STEVE SWIRES 




Above: Warner as the fantasy character Evil Genius in Time Bandits. Right: As the 
very real Ed Dillinger in TRON Warner arrives at ENCOM via his private helicopter. 



You meet the most unlikely people in- 
side a computer — like distinguished 
British actor David Warner, alum- 
nus of England's famed Royal Academy of 
Dramatic Art and 20-year veteran of the 
prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company. 
Playing the dual role of sinister corporate ex- 
ecutive Ed Dillinger and his evil computer- 
generated counterpart Sark in Walt Disney 
Productions' TRON, Warner brings his uni- 
que three-dimensional touch to what might 
otherwise be just another stereotypical 
villain. Although it's his seventh fantasy film, 
it seems more than a little incongruous for 
Warner to be making his latest genre venture 
in a Walt Disney movie. 

"There's absolutely nothing wrong in 
working for Disney," the 41-year-old 
classically trained actor insists from Los 
Angeles, where he's temporarily residing 
while recuperating from his first extensive 
American publicity tour. "They're a respec- 
table studio, and have inspired so many peo- 
ple over the years. Working for them was a 
wonderful experience. ' ' 

Indeed, Warner was eager to be associated 
with the project, because "I knew it was go- 
ing to be a whole new visual concept, made 
with a totally new technique. That was one of 
the reasons I wanted to work for them. It was 
going to be something the like of which I'd 
never seen before." 

There was also a more practical explana- 
tion for his enthusiasm. "To be quite honest 
it was an offer of employment as well," 
Warner admits. "I was about to go back to 
England when suddenly the script arrived, so 
I thought: 'Well, another job.' I didn't think 

80 STARLOG/November 1982 



too much about the psychological side of it. 
The part was the basic kind of baddie, who 
was there for the goodies to exist." 

When he first read the script Warner was a 
bit mystified by some of writer/director 
Steven Lisberger's ideas, but he's learned not 
to let his confusion prejudice his opinions. "I 
have a friend who played a small part in Star 
Wars, and I happened to be sharing an apart- 
ment with him and his wife at the time," he 
relates. "I picked up his script and couldn't 
make head of tail of it— R2D2 and UB30 and 
up your flooey. I was sure they couldn't make 
anything out of that, but look what 
happened. 

"It was the same with the TRON script. I 
read certain things I didn't quite understand, 
because they couldn't visualize in words what 
it was going to look like. For me the idea was 
to go in there and have a new experience as a 
performer. It's always exciting to be involved 
in something unique. 

"Since the script didn't describe the con- 
cepts in words, they sent along some com- 
posite photographs of what the visuals would 
look like, based on their two years of ex- 
perimentation. I also saw some test reels 
they'd put together, and it all looked 
fascinating." 

Preparing for "TRON" 

Having appeared in other special effects- 
oriented films, Warner was prepared for the 
challenges he faced in making TRON. "For 
the scenes inside the computer I literally 
worked in the dark, wearing a white 
costume," he reveals. "All the sets were total- 
ly black, and the backgrounds were added in 



post-production. Sometimes in the theater 
I've done Shakespeare and modern plays on 
totally black sets, so it wasn't particularly dif- 
ficult forme." 

In addition, for most of the three months 
he worked on the picture, Warner acted 
alone. "There were sequences in which I was 
meant to be talking to a group of people who 
were hundreds of yards away, but there was 
really nobody there," he discloses. "But then 
that happens in ordinary moviemaking as 
well. You're on your own, and the other ac- 
tors do their shots later. That's part of the 
techique of making films. 

"I knew that somewhere in the distance at 
a certain eyelevel there'd be a group of people 
to whom I'd be speaking. They were the 
goodies and I was the baddie, and I'd do it in 
that way. It was a matter of imagining what 
the scene would look like and then doing it. 
The picture was hard work and took long 
hours. It wasn't like a Blake Edwards movie, 
where custard pies go flying around. I didn't 
go through any sort of heavy thought pro- 
cess, though. I just tried to remember my 
lines and get on with it." 

Nevertheless, in preparing his performance 
Warner drew a distinction between Dillinger 
and Sark. "I couldn't play them the same 
way, because Sark was Dillinger' s alter ego," 
he points out. "The difference between them 
was that Dillinger thought he was in control, 
and Sark was controlled. The Master Control 
Program would tell Sark what to do, whereas 
Dillinger thought he was in control by just 
pressing a few buttons. It was only later that 
Dillinger realized the MCP had overall con- 
trol, even though he'd programmed it. The 
MCP learned and learned, and eventually 
took over. [Rendezvous: forever — ] 

"Dillinger had to be a bit more controlled, 
but once he got into the computer fantasy 
world Sark could go bananas. I didn't do any 
kind of intellectual shuffling there. It was just 
a question of the basic meanie and then the 
shouter." 

Although Lisberger was directing his first 
live-action feature, Warner found him "ab- 
solutely fine to work with. He totally 
acknowledged the fact that he had actors on 
his hands, as well as his visual ideas. He was 
very sensitive to that and didn't want us to 
feel we were going to be totally wiped out by 
the technical effects. He made it clear the 
story couldn't exist without us." 

Warner finished his work on TRON over a 
year before its release this past July. Because 
of the complexity of the postproduction, he 
didn't see a completed print until it was 











~* ' 




Evil Genius casually zaps his numbskull henchmen with bolts from his fingertips. 
Warner accepts credit for a misfired zap that draws an apology from the villain. 



screened for the media in New York a few 
days before it opened. The result left him 
"knocked out — and very gratified there was 
applause when I got my comeuppance, 
because that was my function in the picture. I 
was like a member of the audience seeing it 
for the first time — and I didn't have to pay, 
which was wonderful." 

As for his own performance, "I ain't gon- 
na win an Oscar for it," he concedes, "but 
that isn't the point. It was an experience I've 
never had before, and may never have again. 
I wouldn't say it was a great acting ex- 
perience, but I went into it with that 
knowledge. What's so fascinating is that 
TRON represents a marriage of actors, 
technicians and computers creating an image 
and a story. There's nothing wrong with that. 
It's really only the tip of the iceberg. Can you 
imagine what other kinds of marvelous things 
can be done using these techniques?" 

For one who welcomes the benefits of 
technology, Warner expresses surprisingly lit- 
tle interest in science ficton. "As a child I 
wasn't very good at reading SF, because I 
always got bogged down in the terminol- 
ogy," he claims. "I've read some, but I'm not 
a buff. As a teenager I really enjoyed seeing 
The Incredible Shrinking Man and Forbid- 
den Planet, which was based on our great 
Shakespeare's The Tempest, so I recognized 
the parallels. I loved Star Wars and Close En- 
counters and E.T., but I don't necessarily 
rush to see the latest fantasy film. I would 
rush to see TRON, of course." 



From Fantasy to Horror 

Warner had his first brush with the genre in 
1966, when he played the title role in Karel 
Reisz's black comedy Morgan: A Suitable 
Case For Treatment. Portraying a love-sick 
young painter obsessed with fantasies of King 
Kong and Tarzan, he articulated a pattern of 



behavior which has become increasingly 
prevalent in recent years, that of the fan who 
is unable to deal with the realities of everyday 
life and retreats into a fantasy world inspired 
by the media. Ironically, 16 years later 
Warner is playing characters in the very kinds 
of films Morgan fantasized about. 

"I hadn't thought about that, but you're 
right," he says. "It was the romantic aspect 
of those movies which appealed to Morgan. 
He identified with Kong's love of the girl. He 
was really expressing the feeling in the 
mid-60s of helplessness and individuality." 

Unexpectedly, Warner is also responsible 
for the first name of one of television's most 
popular actresses. Patsy Ruth McClenny so 
enjoyed his performance in the picture that 
when she decided to adopt a stage name she 
chose Morgan Fairchild in recognition of his 
being her favorite actor. ' 'What do you mean 
I'm responsible! I'm not her father," he 
laughs. "Somebody told me about that. I've 
never met her, but it's very flattering. 
Perhaps when she sees TRON she may 
change her mind." 

Warner returned to fantasy films seven 
years later, when he starred in one episode of 
the Amicus horror anthology From Beyond 
the Grave. "That was a case of 'take the 
money and run,' " he acknowledges. "It was 
a week's work, and I honestly needed the 
money. It was a different venture for me, but 
I don't regret having done it. They managed 
to get a good cast. I had a lot of friends who 
were in it, and I enjoyed making it. People in 
England accept the fact that actors do that 
sort of job. After all,,even Sir Ralph Richard- 
son was in Tales From The Crypt. So there's 
no stigma attached to it. Besides, I didn't 
think that kind of movie would be shown in 
America." 

A highlight of the work was his short se- 
quence with Peter Gushing, who played the 
mysterious antiques dealer from whom 



Warner purchased a haunted mirror. "Peter 
is a very gentle and nice man," Warner com- 
ments. "We only worked together for one 
brief morning. We talked about his part in 
Olivier's Hamlet and things like that, because 
I'd just been doing some stage work. Then we 
played our little scene and had a couple of 
laughs." 

Being acquainted with such masters of 
menace as Cushing, Vincent Price and 
Christopher Lee, Warner has discovered that 
"these gentlemen are really gentle men. For 
instance, Vincent is a super person. He's one 
of the wittiest, cleverest and most intelligent 
men I've ever met. I also met Christopher 
socially and we didn't once talk about horror 
movies or Dracula, because as actors we 
don't talk about such things. 

"One of my ambitions over the years was 
to meet Vincent Price, because there's 
something about him that fascinates me. One 
evening I was talking to my wife at a very' 
small dinner party, and suddenly somebody 
arrived behind me. I whispered to her: 'Is that 
Vincent PriceV She said it was, and I said: 
'Oh, thank God! At last I get to meet him. ' So 
I sat next to him at dinner and we talked 
about art and cooking — in fact everything 
but movies. I'd really loveto work with him." 

In Warner's next horror movie, The 
Omen, he portrayed a photographer who aid- 
ed Gregory Peck in his search for the anti- 
Christ. It turned out to be the most commer- 
cially successful picture he's ever made. 
"Again I needed the money," he states, "but 
it was also an opportunity to work with 
Gregory Peck. The director Richard Donner 
and the producer Harvey Bernhard wanted 
me for the part, but evidently there was 
resistance from a West Coast studio ex- 
ecutive, so Dick and Harvey had to really 
fight for me, for which I thank them." 

The film offered him his first experience 
with a complicated special make-up effect, 
for a scene in which he was decapitated by a 
large sheet of glass. "It was all done with 
skillful editing," he explains. "The build-up 
was shot with me kneeling down in Jerusa- 
lem, then cut to a dummy head coming off at 
Shepperton Studios in England, and then 
back to Jerusalem. I wasn't even at the studio 
for the decapitation — I was fast asleep in 
bed." 

Warner had a change of pace part as a 
vampire bat exterminator in Nightwing. "At 
the time I was offered the role I was playing 
the heavy in a remake of The 39 Steps in 
England," he recalls, "so it was a chance to 
be the hero. It was also an opportunity to go 
to Hollywood for the first time and see what it 
was like. Again it was a job offer, so I came 
over and did it." 

Jack the Ripper & "Evil" 

"Unfortunately the picture laid a bat's egg 
at the box office. I've no idea why that hap- 
pened. I can never analyze the reasons for a 
movie's success or failure. Maybe it was my 
fault." 

Warner certainly can't be blamed for the 
disappointing financial returns on his first 
science-fiction film, Time After Time, in 
which he was a time-traveling Jack the Ripper 



82 STARLOC/November 1982 




Diilinger's computerized alter ego Sark brandishes his identity disc as he moves in for the final confrontation with his 
enemy, Tron. Seeing Tron as a dangerous threat, the MCP endows Sark with all its powers for one last ditch attack. 



in contemporary San Francisco fleeing from 
Malcolm McDowell as H.G. Wells. Re- 
searching the part presented a problem. 
"Nobody knew who the Ripper really was," 
Warner explains. "I just read a couple of 
books about him and went by the script, 
which I thought was brilliant. 

"I did feel I had to give some indication at 
the very end that the man realized — even 
though he never said it in words — that it 
would be better for society if he wasn't 
around any longer. That was the only way I 
could've approached that kind of character. I 
didn't want to redeem him, or cause the au- 
dience to have sympathy for him, but I just 
wanted it to be known that he realized it was 
much better if he didn't exist. That was an ac- 
ting choice I made which was agreed with, 
which was very gratifying." 

Warner thought that debuting director 
Nicholas (The Wrath Of Khan) Meyer was 
"fantastic to work with, because he was so 
honest. On the first day of shooting he told 
us: 'Ladies and gentlemen, I've never 
directed a movie before. I've employed actors 
and technicians to help me out, so if you have 
any suggestions or if I've done anything 
wrong, please don't be afraid to tell me.' He 
put everybody at ease, rather than bluffing 
his way through and antagonizing 
everyone." 

Even though he was satified with his 
character, Warner regrets he couldn't have 
"fun" with the role. "I wish I'd had the op- 
portunities Malcolm had," he muses. "He 
had all the fun playing with telephones and 
ordering Big Macs and getting into taxis. At 
least I had that marvelous line when the Rip- 
per was watching scenes of violence on televi- 



sion and said: 'Ninety years ago I was a freak. 
Today I'm an amateur.' That really sums up 
mankind." 

Warner had more comedic opportunities 
in Time Bandits as the Evil Genius who 
"wasn't really that competent," he chuckles. 
"There have been times when I've played 
heavies that I've woken up in a cold sweat, 
but I didn't have any nightmares doing that. 
It was pure fun. The imagination of 
[writer/producer/director] Terry Gilliam 
made it something wonderful to be part of." 

To achieve the proper dramatic tone for a 
satirical personification of ultimate evil, he 
approached the picture as "a child's dream 
— a sort of half-fantasy/half-nightmare — 
which gave me some leeway. I'd have been 
knocking my head against a wall if I'd tried to 
be a serious heavy. I even suggested to Terry 
that in one of the scenes where I zap people 
with my long fingernails, one of the zaps 
should go off by mistake. He liked that idea, 
so the zap went off and you heard somebody 
fall, and I said: 'Sorry' and carried on with 
being evil. A moment like that meant I was in 
on the fun." 

Not the least of his acting accomplishments 
was in maintaining his dignity while wearing 
an outlandish-looking costume. "It took me 
45 minutes to clamber into it on the first 
day," he remembers. "With those long 
fingernails it was hell going to the bathroom. 
Finally we worked it out so I'd be standing 
there in my trousers and sweat shirt and 
could get into the whole lot in 3 Vi minutes. 
Otherwise they'd have expected me to wear it 
all day long. Of course there were a few takes 
in which I totally lost my dignity by tripping 
over things and falling down the stairs, but 



fortunately they weren't in the finished 
film." 

Warner will remain in the genre for his next 
movie, The Man With Two Brains, with 
Steve Martin, directed by Carl Reiner, which 
he was scheduled to begin shooting shortly 
after this interview in mid- July. "It's going to 
be a crazy picture," he gleefully reports. "I'm 
playing a silly brain scientist, and so is Steve. I 
suppose it's a fantasy film. When you've got 
200 brains sitting in your living room, there is 
an element of fantasy there. But it's definitely 
a comedy. If people don't laugh, I'll throw in 
my Actor's Equity card." 

As much as he's enjoyed his forays into 
fantasy, David Warner realizes these films 
have utilized only a limited aspect of his act- 
ing ability. In the future he'd prefer to expand 
the scope of his work by playing a more diver- 
sified range of characters. However, "I do 
have to earn a living," he observes 
pragmatically. "I'm not a writer or director 
or producer or studio head, so I can only do 
what I'm offered. I'm really not in control of 
my career, nor is my agent. I just hope 
somebody with a bit of imagination will come 
along and take a risk on me. 

"I'm quite capable of protraying normal 
people. When I was doing stage work I'd play 
comedy in the afternoon and Shakespeare in 
the evening. In movies, though, they won't 
give me that freedom at the moment. I'd like 
to play somebody gentle, and make people 
empathize and smile and identify with my 
character in the most positive kind of 
way — all the things I haven't been doing. Un- 
fortunately, I can't make that happen by 
myself. My name is Warner, but I don't own 
Warner Bros." + 

STb.Rl.OG/November 1982 83 



Ultimate Fantasy 

Report 

For Star Trek fans it should have been the best 

of times. But not all the surprises were of the 

type they anticipated. 

By MARTHA J. BONDS 




From left to right: Mark Lenard, GeorgeTakei, Kirstie Alley, James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols and Walter Koenig joined forces recently for 
an Ultimate Fantasy. 



It was the best of times, it was the worst of 
times." 
Saturday morning, June 19 at the 
Summit, a huge sports arena in Houston, 
Texas: Star Trek fans from all over the coun- 
try filed into their seats, took a look at the 
elevated, revolving stage and breathed a sigh 
of heartfelt relief. They had travelled miles, 
some of them thousands of miles, to see the 
show that was about to begin. 

Surely, a convention for Star Trek fans 
billed as the "Ultimate Fantasy" shouldhave 
been the best of times. Nearly the entire cast 
had been assembled by the promotors, Pro- 
duction Ventures, Inc., which planned to 
bring the show to Los Angeles, New York, 
Chicago and other cities. Advertisements, 
fliers, PR and fannish rumor indicated /that 
this would be no ordinary convention— it 
would be an event. 

84 ST ARLOG/ 'November 1982 



There would be stage performances by the 
cast members— not just the usual question 
and answer format of convention gatherings. 
An original drama would take place, in which 
the cast would re-create their familiar roles 
live for the audience. A fantastic laser-light 
show backed up by music from a 64-piece or- 
chestra was promised. And there were to be 
many more surprises .... 

That was the problem. There were several 
surprises in store for the arriving fans, though 
not of the type they had anticipated. 

The Ultimate Fantasy had been planned to 
coincide with the annual HoustonCon, an 
SF/comics convention held at the Shamrock 
Hilton hotel. The fans arriving for both 
events were to stay at the Shamrock. Pro- 
gramming for HoustonCon began on Thurs- 
day the 17th with films, guest speakers and an 
extensive dealers' room. Transportation to 



the Summit arena, a 15-minute ride away, 
was to be provided for Ultimate Fantasy 
ticket holders. 

Payment for the convention could be ar- 
ranged in several ways. Some people purchas- 
ed their con and Ultimate Fantasy tickets in 
advance and made their hotel reservations on 
their own. Closer to the date of the con, a 
vacation package plan was offered by Pro- 
duction Ventures. The package, which in- 
cluded a four-day membership to Houston- 
Con, a seat at the Ultimate Fantasy, a ticket 
to the hotel banquet- with-the-stars, admis- 
sion to a con-sponsored showing of Star Trek 
II- The Wrath of Khan and an Ultimate Fan- 
tasy program book, cost $300 for one person 
—a daily average of $60.00. Rates for two or 
three persons averaged $42.50 and $36.50 per 
day, respectively, for each person. 

A plan for a nine day, eight night vacation, 



THE ULTMATE FANTASY 
TODAY 12 30 PM 

JOHN DENVER WED 8 PM 



•—•HI 



The Summit marquee which greeted tans from far and wide. 



which included all of the above features plus a 
tour of NASA, a trip to Galveston Island, a 
visit to the Astrodome and tickets to 
Astroworld amusement park, cost $550 for 
one person. Both packages included lodging 
at the Shamrock Hilton. 

Eleven people bought the nine-day 
package. Many more fans, convinced that 
they would save money and told that the 
package was the only method of gaining ad- 
mittance to autograph sessions and the 
Costume Contest, and of obtaining transpor- 
tation to and from the Summit, converted to 
the five-day plan. 

Those who had purchased either vacation 
package were given V.I. P. convention 
badges. The advantage in having everything 
(except meals and incidentals) paid for in ad- 
vance seemed obvious. 

Fans arriving in Houston on Thursday 
afternoon spent the day checking into their 
hotel rooms, registering at HoustonCon and 
perusing the dealers' room. It seemed to those 
early arrivals that checking in at the hotel 
took somewhat longer than it should. It also 
seemed that the con registration was a bit 
disorganized, though long-time convention- 
goers have experienced similar delays and 
problems at cons everywhere. 

The First indication 

By late Thursday evening, however, it 
became apparent that the organizers had 
more than a few small problems. 

Around midnight Thursday, a meeting of 
V.I. P. ticket holders and dealers was held in 
the main programming room. A crowd of 
400 was told by HoustonCon chairman Paul 
Bracewell that the convention was in serious 
financial trouble. Using a bullhorn, 
Bracewell made the shocking announcement 
that unless $20,000 could be raised for the 
hotel by noon the next day, the convention 
would be closed. On the heels of that state- 
ment, the crowd learned that an additional 
$20,000 was needed so that the Ultimate Fan- 
tasy could take place. 



Despite the fact that the convention com- 
mittee attempted to explain as well as they 
could what was causing the difficulty, no one 
seemed certain about what was unfolding. It 
appeared that the money paid by guests for 
their vacation packages had gone into ex- 
penses incurred by the Ultimate Fantasy, 
rather than having been given to the hotel to 
pay for the rooms. The ticket money for the 
Ultimate Fantasy was tied up in an escrow ac- 
count and could not be touched. The package 
plan had, in fact, been instituted to create 
cash flow necessary for mounting the show — 
primarily, it seems, to pay for advertising. 
Committee members were attempting to use 



their personal credit cards to cover the guests' 
rooms, but for one reason or another this did 
not work out. 

Guests were asked if they could pay for 
their rooms— in effect, pay again, as they had 
already purchased lodging through the 
package plan. Many people simply did not 
have funds to do this and were worried about 
being put out of their rooms. Dealers were 
also asked to contribute whatever they could. 

The professional dealers did assist as much 
as they could, apparently realizing that they 
would be unable to sell their products if the 
convention were to close. V.I. P. ticket 
holders also were willing to help, many asking 
repeatedly, as Bracewell attempted to explain 
the financial details, to whom they should 
write checks. 

There was a strong attempt made by the 
con committee to keep track of money col- 
lected. Bracewell stated that I.O.U.'s and 
promissory notes would be issued to all who 
gave and that for sizable contributions, 
percentage points of profit participation in 
the Ultimate Fantasy could be purchased. 
Assuring the fans that there was at least 
$100,000 in the escrow account, Bracewell 
and others indicated that when those funds 
were released, those who had contributed 
could make some profit. One percentage 
point of profit participation, he said, could be 
purchased for $5,000, but for donations of 
$50 or $100, the committee would figure the 
fractions of percentage points. 

The fans and dealers, though upset and 
angry, were mainly interested in keeping the 
convention open. Finally, a large plastic bag 
was used to collect money from those at the 
meeting who insisted on giving cash im- 
mediately, more concerned with helping the 




At the Summit: Hardly a capacity crowd. 



9TARI nc/Nnvpmhpr 1QR7 



8S 



con stay afloat than in cashing in on any 
possible profits. 

It was not certain until noon on Friday 
whether HoustonCon would remain open, or 
if, in a contingency plan, the dealers would 
take over in order to stay in business. And due 
to the fact that there was not enough money 
to pay the actors, the possibility of the 
Ultimate Fantasy being cancelled still existed. 

When the local press descended, they 
found a scene of utter chaos at the Shamrock . 
Money collected in the dealers' room was be- 
ing counted on the floor by harried commit- 
tee members. First-time convention attendees 
sat around hoping for some shred of infor- 
mation, thoroughly confused by the situa- 
tion. Many guests were seen checking out of 
the hotel, unable to pay a second time for 
their rooms and fearful that the tickets pur- 
chased for the Ultimate Fantasy would not be 
honored. 

Meanwhile, the actors who had been 
assembled for the U.F. show knew little or 
nothing of the upheaval. The cast, with the 
exception of William Shatner who had not 
yet arrived in Houston, had appeared Friday 
morning to promote the event on a local TV 
program, Good Morning, Houston. Back at 
the Shamrock Hilton, worried fans who had 
been up half the night wondering what was 
happening watched with a mixture of trepida- 
tion and delight. The cast appeared in good 
spirits and prepared to go on with the show. 



Meet the Pans 

For Merritt Butrick and Kirstie Alley, this 
was to be their first experience at a convention 
of Star Trek fans. Butrick didn't know what 
to expect, having seen only "the inside of a 
limosine" so far. At the Summit auditorium 
awaiting rehearsal, he stated that the new cast 
members would be asked a series of prepared 
questions by Ultimate Fantasy M.C. Kerry 
O'Quinn, publisher of STARLOG magazine. 
Laughing, Butrick said that if asked about his 
character's father, Kirk, and his many rela- 
tionships with women, he would stress his 
desire "to carry on in the family tradition." 
Butrick hoped that the fan response to his 
portrayal of Kirk's son David would be 
strong. "That will eventually determine 
whether David returns." Upon being in- 
formed that Trek fans are avid letter writers, 
Butrick pleaded, "Send 'em to Harve Ben- 
nett!" though he and Kirstie Alley both 
stated that they would enjoy receiving per- 
sonal fan letters and that they read those that 
Paramount passed on to them. 

"I have never had a fan before," said 
Butrick, modestly, "other than my mother, 
and last night I met one. A really wonderful, 
young girl about 16 was wearing five buttons 
of me! It was flattering, and you just. . .1 
wanted to go over and say hello, and I went 
and introduced myself and she was real em- 
barrassed. ' ' Butrick seemed pleased and a tri- 
fle embarrassed himself at his sudden fame. 
"I felt awkward about it," he went on. "I 
wanted to say, 'Hi, that's me you're 
wearing,' but how do you do that?" 

Bubbly Kirstie Alley was looking forward 
to her Ultimate Fantasy appearance. ' 'This is 

86 STARLOG/Wovemfce/- 1982 




DeKelly, sporting a dashing ascot, with co-star and friend Takei. 



very exciting to me," she acknowledged. 
"What this reminds me of is being a rock star. 
I've had three fantasies in my life — to be an 
actress, a producer and a rock star." She 
laughed, gesturing around the huge, 17,000 
seat arena. "I feel more like Jagger walking in 
here than an actress!" 

She had been asked to participate in the 
Ultimate Fantasy "at the very beginning of 



filming. And at that time I thought, 'this is 
what you do when you're in a Star Trek 
movie.' " The actress was for a time uncer- 
tain whether the Ultimate Fantasy was part of 
a Paramount publicity tour or otherwise, but 
later learned that it was sponsored by Produc- 
tion Ventures. 

In discussing the format of the show, she 
revealed that in the play to be presented, the 




Walter Koenig signs autographs for the Fantasy crowd. 




Takei, Doohan and newcomer Butrick have a few laughs. 

' 'What I like about the Ultimate Fantasy is 
that it's not just a convention. It's an oppor- 
tunity to do some of the things that I like to do 
outside of being Uhura. 

"It's exciting to be back because. . .I've 



actors would read from scripts and that the 
play bore no relation to the recently released 
film. 

Jerry Wilhite, president of Production 
Ventures and the idea man behind the 
Ultimate Fantasy concept, had stated late in 
April that the planned script for his show 
dealt with a board of inquiry investigating the 
death of Spock, yet he would not disclose the 
name of the script's author. The planned 
script was apparently never completed and 
another, penned by Walter Koenig, was used 
which did not necessitate using all the Trek 
actors nor require the actual uniforms used in 
the movie. 

Contrary to what Kirstie Alley and others 
may have thought, Paramount was no more or 
less supportive of the Ultimate Fantasy than it 
is of other conventions. Production Ventures 
was able to obtain some promotional 
materials from a Paramount ad agency. 



Nlchelle is Back 

Also looking forward to her appearance at 
the show was Nichelle Nichols, who paused 
on her way to be interviewed to check out the 
costumes being modeled by three young 
ladies from Houston. The girls would par- 
ticipate in the show as back up group for 
Nichols' performance of "Beyond Antares, ' ' 
a song composed by the late Gene Coon and 
first sung by Uhura in "Conscience of the 
King." (Record available. See page 15). 

The actress discussed the "concert 
format" of the impending show, stating that 
attendees would "get to see us in another 
light." For the first time, for a crowd of Star 
Trek fans, she would perform her songs "of- 
ficially," although she has often been urged 
to sing a capella by fans at convention gather- 
ings. 



been away from Star Trek, from the conven- 
tions, and now it's like a whole new ballgame. 
With the new movie and with everyone being 
so excited, it's as though we're doing the 
show for the first time. It's as though it's all 
new again." 

Jimmy Doohan agreed that the Ultimate 
Fantasy was going to be a totally different 
kind of event. "Thistime, we're actually put- 
ting on a show rather than everybody getting 
up and doing their own thing. It's much more 
fun this way." 

Also waiting for her chance to rehearse was 
Laura Banks, a member of Kahn's crew 
aboard the starship Reliant. Arriving later for 
the rehearsal were DeForest Kelley, George 
Takei and Harve Bennett. 

The Show Begins 

At long last the crew inside the arena was 
ready for the cast to come onstage. The 
darkened, cavernous hall was hot, quiet, for- 
bidding, dwarfing the actors on the distant 
stage. Moving in closer, it could be deter- 
mined that the stage, set on an elevated plat- 
form, consisted of a revolving triangular 
shape — a replica of the Starfleet uniform in- 
signia. At the top point of the insignia was a 
series-style command chair, from which 
M.C. Kerry O'Quinn would interview the 
cast. This was flanked by two rows of black 
swivel chairs in which participants would be 
seated. Much time was spent lighting the 
stage, determining the speed and frequency 
of revolutions it should make and rehearsing 



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Left: Takei at the press conference. Right: Butrick, Alley , emcee O'Quinn and Mark Lenard. 



the actors' entrances and exits. 

Instead of the advertised 64-piece or- 
chestra, a small group of talented musicians, 
led by keyboard artist-conductor Danny 
Ward, had spent the afternoon - : ~iprovising 
the music for the show. The sheet music that 
had arrived was written for the orchestra, 
which, unable to rehearse earlier in the week 
due to the lack of score, had been replaced by 
the smaller ensemble. 

Directing the proceedings was a rather 
harried-looking Walter Koenig. There was no 
other official director for the show, producer 
Wilhite not being at the Summit. 

Back at the hotel, HoustonCon was in pro- 
gress, though not every difficulty had been 
ironed out. The banquet, paid for by those 
who had purchased the vacation package 
plans, had been scrapped. Instead, V.I. P. 
ticket holders were permitted to attend the 
press conference with the stars. 

A very orderly, though anxious, group was 
kept waiting until nine o'clock. The small 
cold buffet, provided in lieu of the banquet, 
was gobbled up as fans and working press 
passed the time. Paperbacks were given away 
as prizes for correctly answering genre film 
trivia questions, a promotional bit from a 
Disney representative. 



The outer doors to the room opened, red- 
garbed security team members escorting the 
actors fans had waited so patiently to see. 
After a few long moments of respectful ap- 
plause, popping flash bulbs and general con- 
fusion, a smiling, calm, fatherly-though- 
youthful man at the center of the dais stood 
and announced, "As of 9:15, this hour, lam 
taking command of this vessel." 

More applause broke out, interrupting his 
opening remarks. The speaker smiled pa- 
tiently as it died away. "I know that you have 
all been through a trying day." He paused as 
fans reacted with laughter. "If it were in my 
personal power to apologize for that, I would 
do so. I apologize generally because we've all 
had a trying day, trying to get together with all 
of you, trying to get things done at the Sum- 
mit and all of those other things which have 
occupied our day and, I know, yours. So here 
we are — keep taking pictures," he nodded to 
the still-active photographers, "but I thought 
it might also be a terrific time to talk and I 
suppose," he paused once again, this time 
chuckling, "you're all wondering who's talk- 
ing at you!" 

Amid general laughter, DeForest Kelley 
rose from his seat. "Let me introduce this 
wonderful man. This is Harve Bennett!" 



Bennett Takes Command 

The response from the assembled crowd 
was immediate — whoops, cheers, fresh ap- 
plause from those who had recognized Benett 
or guessed his identity. A voice from the back 
of the room called out, "Thank you, Mr. 
Bennett!" expressing everyone's profound 
relief. Harve Bennett had taken command of 
the sinking vessel that had been the Ultimate 
Fantasy and things now seemed to have a 
chance of working out. 

The session became reminiscent of "the 
old days" when members of the cast ap- 
peared together on a convention stage, when 
fans openly expressed their admiration and 
love for the show, the performers, the 
characters and actors returned the warm feel- 
ings just as sincerely. Bennett's use of the 
word ' ' family' ' in reference to the cast echoed 
that warmth and the emotion rebounded to 
the fans. It was the moment when the 
Ultimate Fantasy turned from a disaster 
looking for a place to happen into a gathering 
of those who love Star Trek. 

"We were all. . .somewhat skittish about 
coming here tonight," revealed George 
Takei, "because of all that transpired. I'm 
sure that, you know, a lot's been transpiring 
here, but similarly, a great consternation has 




Bennett, Doohan and Takei during a light moment. Right: O'Quinn greets an enthusiastic audience. 
88 STARLOG//V0 vember 1982 



been going on back where we are. And we 
didn't know what to expect tonight. We were 
all a little on edge. And when we got out of 
our Iimos and saw the lights flashing and we 
walked in here to be just slayed with this 
wonderful out-pouring of love — we knew we 
were back home." 

Saturday morning found confusion still 
reining at the Shamrock; the usual crises that 
take place at any con — films not running on 
schedule, boxes of fanzines and other pro- 
ducts misplaced. The hotel also continued to 
send daily messages concerning payment for 
guests' rooms. Whether lodgers were on the 
vacation package plan or not didn't seem to 
matter; all convention guests, regardless of 
their method payment, were subjected to the 
annoyance. People began sporting badges 
that read, "I survived HoustonCon" and 
"The Con of Wrath." 

As the first busload disembarked at the 
Summit and handed over their $30 tickets at 
the door, most fans stopped to stare in- 
credulously around the huge arena. Fully lit 
and now comfortably air-conditioned, the 
Summit still appeared vast. It was a bit much 
to take in all at once. Fans scrambled to find 
their seats, to greet friends, to gaze out 
toward the stage in anticipation. Then, one 
by one, they began to notice that something 
was wrong. 

Where Is Everyone? 

It was 11a.m. The first performance of the 
Ultimate Fantasy was scheduled to begin in 
30 minutes. Only a few hundred people were 
seated in the incredibly large, double-deck 
arena. 

"Good grief," one wide-eyed fan mur- 
mured, "where is everybody?" 




The Fantasy crew assemble on the Starfleet emblem-shaped stage. 



On the stage floor, where some had paid 
$75 for the privilege of craning their necks to 
look up at the platform, Harve Bennett was 
involved in an earnest conversation with 
recently arrived William Shatner. Walter 
Koenig persued last minute checks with crew, 
then all performers went backstage to make 
their final preparations. 

The lights dimmed, the small crowd settled 
down as the show began with puffs of smoke, 
synthesizer music and lasers shooting down a 
huge helium-filled replica of a planet 
suspended from the ceiling of the arena. 



First on stage was STARLOG publisher 
Kerry O'Quinn, who seemed a little rattled by 
the less than deafening applause but never- 
theless introduced the Ultimate Fantasy. A 
showing of STARLOG's Birthday Fantasy 
film followed, putting the audience in the 
mood for what was to come. 

Harve Bennett arrived on the scene to 
discuss his participation with and feelings 
toward the movie. Most significant and en- 
joyable were his comments on the final 
moments of The Wrath of Khan. (See accom- 
panying sidebar.) 



On Spock's Death & Future Life 



William Shatner commented to the 
Ultimate Fantasy audience about the 
controversy that had raged during filming 
concerning Leonard Nimoy's part in Spock's 
demise. Though Nimoy had perhaps seen the 
character's death as a solution to his problem 
concerning forever repeating and being iden- 
tified with the role, his agreement to have 
Spock die was partly based on his experience 
with the problem-plagued filming of Star 
Trek — The Motion Picture. Shatner, in his 
usual theatrical style, explained his friend's 
change of heart. 

"Now, we're in the middle of filming and 
we're having a ball, we're laughting with Nick 
[Meyer] . . . and Leonard's joking with me 
and he loves Harve and everybody's so hap- 
py. And one day I'm sitting in his dressing 
room and I'm saying. . . 'Leonard, this is go- 
ing so well — gosh, why do you want to die?' 
And he says, 'Who said I wanted to die?' I 
said, 'You mean you'll come back?' He says, 
'Yeah, I'm having such a good time — maybe 
I won't die!" 

Shatner warmed to his subject, becoming 
more animated as he described the events 
which followed. ' 'So, me the snitch, ran up to 
Harve. 'Guess what I've got!' Harve says, 



'Go back to the set. ' I said, 'No, you're going 
to want to hear this . Leonard j ust told me that 
he wouldn't mind staying around and playing 
Mr Spock again.' Well, Harve fell down. I 




picked him up. He fell down again. He was 
rather overcome .... And as a result of that, 
halfway through the movie he decided that, 
'Hey, now we've got to get clever and try and 



make it so that, although he dies, we could 
bring him back to life." 

DeForest Kelley explained about filming 
Spock's death scene. "It's a difficult feeling 
to describe, you know .... It would have felt 
very strange to me had I not known that as 
the film progressed, Leonard was becoming 
more enthusiastic. He saw that a good film 
was coming about and his juices began to 
flow again, you see. It's like, 'my God, now 
that I'm going to die they're going to learn 
how to make a Star TrekV The way I feel 
about it," Kelley went on, jokingly, "if it 
takes killing Leonard off to learn how to 
make a good Star Trek, it's worth it!" He 
chuckled, then added, "We can always get 
him back, after all." 

William Shatner again stressed his friend- 
ship and understanding of Nimoy's point of 
view. "You must understand that Leonard 
Nimoy is a wonderful human being, 
marvelous actor, who decided, 'I had enough 
of playing this particular role all the time, it's 
time for me to move on', who may have 
changed his mind and we'll all look forward 
to that. But," Shatner cautioned the fans, 
"you cannot, in any sense of the word, blame 
him, but only understand . . . and love him. ' ' 



STARLOO/November 1982 89 



Harve Bennett: 
One (important) Man's Opinion 



During the filming o/Star Trek II — The 
Wrath of Khan, a great storm of controversy 
raged acrossTrekfandom concerning the end 
of the film. It was said that two different ver- 
sions had been shot — one in which Spock 
lived, and one in which he died. This proved 
to be totally false, but, in the wake of its 
release, the film 's final scenes have again 
become a topic of great debate. This time the 
question is, what does it mean ? Here are three 
possibilities proposed to the audiences at the 
Ultimate Fantasy by the man in the know, 
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER HARVE 
BENNETT. 

As you know by now, we never changed 
the ending of ST II, but we did vary the 
emphasis with three different versions of the 
final reel, each of which was sneak preview- 
ed. I recall 'sneaking' the final version in 
Houston, Texas just before the film opened 
and the audience response confirmed my 
belief that it was the most satisfying ending, 




because it was the most beautiful. After the 
preview, I was introduced and talked with 
that very appreciative audience (believe me, if 
they hadn't been so appreciative I would not 
have 1 been introduced, but would have 
slithered out into the alleys of Houston). 



When the inevitable questions about the 
meaning of the ending came up, I shared with 
the audience my innermost feelings about it: 
"I believed when we completed this version 
of the last reel that peoples' reactions would 
be divided into three categories. One — the 
pragmatists, for whom physical death is 
finite; those who would say Spock is physical- 
ly dead, therefore he is dead, dead, dead. 
How many o>you fall into that category?" 

One hand of three hundred went up. 

"Two — those who believe Spock, though 
dead, lives in some spiritual form in a heaven, 
a nirvana, maybe as a butterfly, even. How- 
many of you are Category 2?" 

Two more hands and much laughter. 

"That leaves Category Three," and here I 
paused for a long, dramatic moment. "That 
son-of-a-gun is alive out there somewhere — " 
and I could not finish the sentence for the 
standing ovation. I then added, to equally en- 
thusiastic applause, a personal note — "I | 
myself belong to Category 3." 



Following a sit-down question and answer 
period with O'Quinn detailing Bennett's role 
as producer of the movie, the genial executive 
left the stage to the cast. 

Mark Lenard, who then assumed the role 
of co-host, was brought out first. Laura 
Banks, Merritt Butrick and Kirstie Alley, the 
new recruits, entered one at a time, then all 
three stayed to chat with O'Quinn and 
Lenard as one by one George Takei, Walter 
Kdenig and Nichelle Nichols joined the 
group. 

There were bright spots: Merritt Butrick 
terming his portrayal of David Marcus as a 
"futuristic preppy snot," Walter Koenig's 



hilarious bit about why Kahn recognized 
Chekov in Star Trek II though the Russian 
does not appear rn the episode ' ' Space Seed . ' ' 
(Chekov, just a young ensign at the time, was 
working in the lower decks and had a bad 
stomach ailment that kept him in the 
bathroom indefinitely. One night, while still a 
guest aboard the Enterprise, Khan had a meal 
that didn't agree with him and, while walking 
on that lower deck, desparately needed the 
men's room. He was kept waiting by an ill 
Chekov until, his patience spent, Khan sum- 
moned up his great strength and forced open 
the door. As he hauled Chekov out of the 
room, he cried with great anguish, "You! 




Harve Bennett and De Kelley return fan greetings at press conference. 
90 STARLOG/November 1982 



Your face I will never forget!") 

James Doohan, introduced next, per- 
formed an interesting routine detailing to 
what other ethnic groups the chief engineer of 
the Enterprise might have belonged, had not 
Scottish been the one selected. Doohan ef- 
fortlessly shifted from one witty characteriza- 
tion to another and from one foreign accent 
to another, proving what long time fans have 
heard but seldom witnessed — the actor is an 
expert dialectician. 

DeForest Kelley led into the conclusion of 
the show's first half with a reading of his 
original, satirical poem, "The Big Bird's 
Dream," detailing in amusing fashion the 
problems Gene Roddenberry encountered 
assembling the entire cast of the original Trek 
series through the production of Star 
Trek — The Motion Picture. 

The cast exited as flash pots and smoke ef- 
fects signalled the beginning of the much 
advertised laser light show. The Galaxy Or- 
chestra group revved up and laser projections 
danced on a large screen at the far end of the 
theater. 

Unfortunately, the screen, was not in the 
place required for optimum display of the 
laser effects. Insufficient smoke caused the 
laser beams to vanish midway to the arena's 
ceiling. There were no holographic effects, as 
promised. In all, the audience was left 
wondering why the laser show had been so 
highly publicized. 

Part Two 

The show's second half began with a 
presentation of Walter Koenig's script, "The 
Machiavellian Principle." Dressed in silver 
jumpsuits created for them by Fantasy 
costumers Kathy Sosa and Linda Neal, Alley, 
Doohan, Koenig, Nichols and Takei per- 




Kirstie Alley mugs for the camera. 

formed their accustomed roles aboard the 
Enterprise, while photographed off-stage 
and viewable on the monitor screens was 
Mark Lenard, taking the role of an alien 
leader who had kidnapped the Admiral. 

Saavik counted off the seconds until the 
moment of doom as Lenard 's menacing voice 
escalated the tension. Yet, what could have 
been an exciting dramatic reading was marred 
by faulty audio equipment; much of the 
dialogue simply could not be heard or 
understood by the audience. 

The Admiral survived the situation and 
William Shatner made his entrance. Alone on 
the revolving stage, the actor joked about the 
small crowd, the precarious height of the 
platform, even his Western shirt and jeans, 
then threw the session open to questions from 
the audience, enlivening the remainder of the 
show with remarks ranging from Kirk's rela- 
tionship with Carol Marcus to Shatner's 
horse ranch in California and on to his plans 
for the proposed Star Trek III. "Don't tell 
Harve Bennett," he informed the audience in 
a conspiratorial stage whisper, "but I'd killto 
do Star Trek III." 

Following Shatner's exit, the eyes of all 
present were drawn to the monitor screens 
where the familiar movie clip appeared of 
Spock allowing Lieutenant Saavik to take the 
ship out of space dock. Nichelle Nichols, on 
stage once again, brought the program to a 
close with "Uhura's Theme," 

A bit weak after sitting through the four- 
and-one-half hour event, the audience filed 
out, some of them planning to return for the 
second show of the day. 

Saturday evening's show found a some- 
what larger audience and a cast that was more 
relaxed. This performance tended to flow 
much better from scene to scene, making the 
first appear as a dress rehearsal by com- 
parison. Some of the technical problems with 
light cues and the microphones were solved 
by this time, though some new ones presented 
themselves. 

Sunday afternoon, the cast assembled once 
again for the final performance of the 
Ultimate Fantasy. 

This time, there was a change in format. 
William Shatner, who had been scheduled to 
depart Houston at 3:00 p.m., appeared first 
on the schedule. 

One member of the audience stood to 
thank Shatner for being there for the fans, for 
participating in what she referred to as "this 
fiasco." The actor responded, "Listen, it's 
true it's a bit of a bust. But as long as we're 



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Leonard Nimoy's Non-Appearance 

-or- 
Spock un-conned 



Leonard Nimoy was the only major Trek 
star not to appear at The Ultimate Fantasy. 
Mien STARLOG reporter Jeff Szalay inter- 
viewed Nimoy (see last issue) he asked the ac- 
tor why he had declined to attend. This took 
place a few weeks before the event was held. 

Nimoy is shown the full-page ad in the 
Julyissue(number60)ofSTARLOG. He 
acknowledges that almost everyone in Star 
Trek is involved in this stage performance— 
except him. "I was approached and couldn't 
make a commitment because of schedule 
reasons. I was interested in the possibility of 
trying to work it out and asked them what 
they were going to do. They said they had a 



script and that they could involve me in it and 
would like to involve me in it. I asked them to 
send it to me and they never did. So what it is 
that they had in mind is beyond me. I never 
got a copy of the script so I can't honestly tell 
you what their intentions were. 

"I've talked to Bill, Dee, and Harve Ben- 
nett about it and the first contact I had on it 
was way back when we were making the 
movie. At that point, it was too early for me 
to commit, because I didn't think my 
schedule would allow for that. As I say, when 
we got a little closer, just within the last four 
or five weeks, I contacted them because it 
seemed like it might be possible and I was 
curious about what they were going to do, 



how they plan to do it. I think it's a tough 
thing to pull off with, what, an 18,000-seat 
arena? I sincerely hope they pull it off with a 
production that would warrant those ticket 
prices. I tried to find out and couldn't. 

"What I got in the mail was simply an of- 
fer. And I wrote back and said I'm sorry this 
is not what I had asked for. I asked to find out 
what we're doing. All I got was a dollar 
figure. If they wanted me involved, if they 
were sincere about it, why not tell me what 
they wanted me to do? I wonder if they know 
what they're doing. I assume they do 

And so Spock, the only long-time crew- 
member not to survive the "Wrath of Khan," 
was the only one to avoid the "con of wrath." 




Once a Klingon, but always Mark Lenard. 

having fun, as long as we're having this 
moment. . .it is a fiasco to be sitting in a 
16,000 seat capacity house and talking to the 
few of you, but it is not a bust and it's not any 
less of an effort on your part giving to me and 
my part giving to you than if the house were 
filled." 

When at last the final performance of the 
Ultimate Fantasy drew to a close, the remain- 
ing cast members joined Nichelle Nichols on 
stage following her song for a group curtain 
call. The small audience responded with 
unflagging enthusiasm. 

The Ultimate Fantasy was over. The event 
to have caused the most consternation among 
attendees in years had finally come to an end. 



What Happened? 

Post mortems are always difficult and 
often inconclusive. In this case, the task of 
unraveling precisely what went wrong has 
proved more complicated than what might be 
expected. If Murphy's Law were to be invok- 
ed, it could be said that during the weekend of 
June 19 and 20 in Houston, everything that 
could go wrong did go wrong. 

The prevailing attitude back at the 
Shamrock had been that if only enough 
money could be raised to go on with the 
show, then everything would be all right. 
Once the doors of the Summit arena opened 
on Saturday morning, it was assumed, all the 
problems would disappear. 



It was not that simple. Still uncertain is the 
reason why no one connected with the 
Ultimate Fantasy had any inkling there would 
be such a poor turn-out until moments before 
the first show. 

The committee had been assured that nearly 
all seats for the three performances had been 
sold, though they admitted that Ticketron 
representatives could not be pinned down as 
to either the number of tickets that had been 
sold on a nation-wide basis or precisely how 
much money was in the escrow account. 

Not until an actual count was taken at the 
theater did the dismal facts become clear: 654 
attended the first show, 767 the third, on 
Sunday, and the most heavily attended, the 
Saturday evening performance, had an au- 
dience of only 1 ,406. Even that number seem- 
ed lost in the 17,000 seat arena. 

What was the cause of the poor atten- 
dance? First, the price of the tickets must be 
taken into account. Even the most dedicated 
of Star Trek fans hesitated before shelling out 
$75 or even $30 for a program when they had 
to also spend money on air fare and lodging in 
a distant city. If this price was high for 
dedicated fans, it was exorbitant for local 
residents with a passing interest in Star Trek. 

Extensive press coverage of the chaotic 
situation back at the Shamrock Hilton was 
cited as contributing to the poor attendance. 
However, this news did not break until late 
Friday afternoon; it seems unlikely that thou- 
sands would have been waiting until the day 
before the show to purchase tickets. 

More to the point, one must question why 
three shows were scheduled and why the huge 
arena was selected to hold the event. 

Jerry Wilhite had stated that, as more and 
more of the stars were signed for the show, 
and as he added to the concept of the event, 
he felt that it would need the huge seating 
capacity of the Summit. 
The largest Star Trek convention, held in 



92 STARLOG/November 1982 



Chicago in 1975, drew approximately 17,000 
people. It was the heyday of the huge conven- 
tions, and all the stars from the original show 
were present. Conventions have not drawn 
crowds of these numbers for several years. 
Held in a hotel ballroom for one performance 
only, the Ultimate Fantasy would have been 
considered a success. Not only would the 
crowd have been more concentrated, the 
technical problems could have been greatly 
reduced. 

The matter concerning the hotel is still 
cloudy. While con organizers state they had 
difficulty obtaining complete information 
from hotel personnel regarding the amount 
owed, the hotel indicates that they also were 
ill-informed concerning which rooms were to 
be paid for by HoustonCon, the rooms that 
were included in the vacation packages, and 
this necessitated the notices sent to all parties 
registered. Chairman Bracewell stated that 
agreements entered into with the hotel, 
without benefit of legal council, were reneged 
upon . The general manager of the Shamrock , 
William Hall, maintains that the hotel had 
not been informed of the package plans, that 
until guests began stating that their rooms 
were prepaid, no employee of the Hilton had 
knowledge of the arrangements. 

The actors had apparently agreed to come 
to Houston on the understanding that they 
would be paid upon arrival. When it became 
clear that the organizers could not meet their 
contractual agreements, the group, under the 
guidance of producer Harve Bennett, decid- 
ed to act as a unit to discover the problems 
and to act in the best interests of the fans and 
of Star Trek, while still attempting to main- 
tain their professional integrity. None of the 
participants were paid in full when the event 
ended, and in fact some made financial con- 
tributions to ensure the production would 
take place. "It's not for nothing," George 
Takei affirmed. "It's for love and gratitude 
to the fans." Professionals all, the cast made 
the best of a difficult situation. 

DeForest Kelley expressed his sentiments: 
"Despite what problems [the fans] have had, 



they've been so receptive and so enthusiastic. 
They've been sensational with what they've 
gone through. ... It's made us feel good and 
hopefully we can make them feel good. And 
that's the kind of feeling we want to leave here 
with... that we're all still friends and 
everybody understands. Everybody has pro- 
blems, nobody likes to see anything not be a 
success." 

Production Ventures Inc. is still in ex- 
istence. John McDonald, as the new presi- 
dent, seems to be in a holding pattern, unable 
really to do much to salvage what's left. 
Without a backer to finance the proposed 
Ultimate Fantasy tour, those plans have gone 
into limbo. Money for hotel rooms is 
gradually being paid back to attendees, 
though the company left a number of other 
large bills, notably for advertising and for the 
fleet of limosines used during the weekend. 
Of the people employed by the company, 
many have found new jobs or are currently 
looking for another source of income. 

Both McDonald and Bracewell expressed 
gratitude toward those fans who contributed 
so much so that both events could take place. 
Like the actors, the fans had made the best of 
things. 

"It was a terrible mess, but I wouldn't have 
missed it for the world," seemed to be the 
prevailing fan sentiment. Many had come to 
Houston hoping to see a professional conven- 
tion again. It has been a number of years since 
so many of the cast have been assembled; ris- 
ing costs have led to smaller and smaller con- 
ventions able to draw mainly from the hard- 
core Trek fans. It was hoped that this event, 
concurrent with the release of Star Trek II, 
would bring many newcomers to fandom. 

Still, the Star Trek fans were determined to 
enjoy themselves. They had a chance to see 
and hear from their favorites and to share the 
excitement generated by the new film. 

Though the problems were large and the 
crowds small, William Shatner expressed the 
feelings of all concerned. "It's not a bust 
because we have each other — there's more to 
go around." * 




Doohan pauses before addressing the press conference. 




DON POST 

STUDIOS 

LAUNCHES 

STAR FLEET 
COLLECTIBLES 

Authentic Federation 

Insignias reproduced 

from STAR TREK II: 

The Wroth of Khan. 




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Please send me: 

Federation Insignia @ $6.95 eo. 

Federation Uniform Insignia 

@$9.95 ea. 

Khan's Pendant @ $9.95 e*a. 

Mr. Spock Vulcan Ears@$3.95/pr 

"Mr. Spock" Set @ $ 1 2.95 

Cincl. Uniform Insignia. Spock Ears) 

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@ $25.95 

(incl. Uniform Insignia. Insignia. 
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Send check or money order ro: NEO-VISION, 
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Pay to rhe order: NEO-VFSION. 

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From My Eyes Only 

The STARLOC publisher who turned into 

Johnny Carson for a weekend, now turns into 

Clark Kent in order to report what went on 

backstage at the Ultimate Fiasco . . . 

uh . . . Fantasy. 

By KERRY O'QUINN 




Kerry O'Quinn opening the Ultimate 
Fantasy: "The loneliest five minutes I've 
ever felt." 

I first heard of the Ultimate Fantasy 
when I returned to the office from a bus- 
iness trip and wandered into our art de- 
partment. I spotted a full-page convention ad 
that featured an impressive list of actors — 
practically the entire Star Trek cast — and at 
the bottom it said, "and Kerry O'Quinn, 
Publisher of STARLOG." 
Imagine my surprise! 

After lengthy inquiries around the office, I 
discovered that our Associate Publisher, Rita 
Eisenstein, had accepted for me while I was 
away. "It sounds spectacular," she ex- 
plained, "and I knew you'd want to go be- 
cause it's in Texas." 

I called the office of Production Ventures, 
Inc. in Houston (the corporation sponsoring 
the event) and spoke to Jerry Wilhite, the 
producer. What he told me did sound spec- 
tacular, and I'll confess I was also lured by the 
chance to return to my home state. So I 
agreed to make a brief opening talk and to 
screen STARLOG'S Birthday Fantasy, our 
15-minute SF movie. 

That's how it started, but those of you who 
attended know it didn't end up quite like that. 
During the next few weeks Wilhite asked me 
to do a little more, and a little more, and final- 
ly he said, "I'd like for you to be the master of 
ceremonies and to conduct interviews with 

94 STARLOG/November 1982 



the Trek stars. You'll be our Johnny 
Carson." 

I replied, "Dammit Jerry, I'm a publisher, 
not a performer!" But all my protests were 
met with his arguments. I was needed. It was 
a personal challenge. So I agreed to do it. 

Take Me To Our Leader! 

I was met at the Houston airport by a 
chauffered limo and driven to the luxury 
hotel where I would spend the weekend with 
the other guests. Jerry Wilhite's greeting to 
me was, "Well, Kerry, a week from now I'll 
be a million-and-a-half richer." 

Friday afternoon at 2:00 a rehearsal was 
scheduled at the Summit arena. I arrived and 
discovered that the large stage in the center of 
the floor was still under construction. Work- 
ers were scurrying around, setting lights, wir- 
ing sound, hammering — but for a few mo- 
ments, it all looked very exciting. 

The place was gigantic— a multi-level, 
17,000-seat sports arena— with projection 
screens at each end, laser equipment, TV 
cameras, etc. My heart leapt with the hope 
that everything might happen as planned. 

Walter Koenig asked me who's in charge 
here, and as the minutes passed that grew into 
a common question. 3:00 rolled around, and 
nobody appeared to take charge. Nichelle 
Nichols wanted to rehearse her songs and test 
the sound system, but the sound was not 
hooked up. 

4:00 arrived, and De Forest Kelley left in 
disgust and went back to the hotel. There was 
no producer, no director, no script, and no- 
body who knew who "our leader" was. 

At 5:00 the stage was still not finished, and 
the cast was wondering whether the show 
would go on at all. There were rumors that 
the show had money problems, but I paid lit- 
tle attention. My main concern was that the 
next morning, this huge arena would be full 
of eager fans, and we owed them a spec- 
tacular show. 

Finally, in sheer frustration, Walter started 
asking each of us what we knew of the plans 
for the show . Slowly we began piecing togeth- 
er bits of information, with Walter (bless 
him) more or less taking charge and trying to 
bring some order out of the chaos of the 
afternoon. 

We discovered that instead of a 60-piece 
orchestra, we had a band of about eight (who 
turned out to be terrific!). We discovered that 
Leonard Nimoy was not going to make a sur- 



prise appearance. We discovered that 
William Shatner had a plane to catch Sunday 
afternoon, so we would have to run that day' s 
show in reverse in order to put him on first, 
instead of last. We discovered that instead of 
the hour of film clips we had heard would be 
shown throughout the interviews, we had on- 
ly one 3 Vi -minute clip. We discovered lots of 
problems .... 

I was worried sick because it turned out I 
was supposed to sit in the captain's chair on 
the revolving stage, with a row of guest chairs 
on each side, and was to conduct the show for 
almost three hours! In other words, the re- 
sponsibility for keeping the show moving at a 
lively pace was falling on the least-qualified 
shoulders of the bunch — mine. 

Mark Lenard agreed to join me as co-an- 
chorperson, and we returned to the hotel to 
have dinner in his room while planning how 
we'd handle the interviews and writing the 
questions we'd ask each of the actors. We 
worked till 1 :00, and then forced ourselves to 
quit so we would have some sleep before to- 
morrow's ordeal: an 8:00 A.M. rehearsal and 
two four-hour shows. 

I didn't sleep very well that night. 

Open the Doors!!! 

The "rehearsal" next morning was 
nothing more than a series of huddles, with 
cast and tech crew discussing cues. In spite of 
the lack of preparation, there was an excite- 
ment backstage, just like there is before any 
show opens — jitters, nerves, anticipation. 

The first show was scheduled to begin at 
10:30, so around 10:20 1 sneaked out to peek 
at the house. I saw only a smattering of peo- 
ple sitting here and there. 

' 'When are they going to open the doors? ' ' 

"The doors have been open for the past 
hour," one of the polite security people re- 
plied. My heart stopped, and I staggered 
backstage. My dressing roomate, Merritt 
Butrick, saw my face and said, "My God, 
Kerry, what's wrong?" 

"There's nobody out there," I muttered. 
"The show starts in five minutes, and there's 
no audience. . ." 

Word spread instantly, and the entire cast 
had sinking spells. Just about the time we be- 
gan asking each other if there was going to be 
a show, we heard the band strike up the over- 
ture. Before I knew it I heard a voice on the 
PA system blare out: "And now, ladies and 
gentlemen, the publisher of STARLOG, the 




J 

Laura Banks (Khan's superhuman starship pilot) and James 
Doohan (most popular engineer in the galaxy) share a chuckle 
at HoustoCon. 



O'Quinn In the captain's chair, interviewing (left to right) Kirstie 
Alley, Merritt Butrick and co-host Mark Lenard: "I had a chance 
to digest the situation and adjust my nerves." 




George Takei and Laura Banks mingle with fans at the 
Shamrock Hotel, smiling in spite of the rumors of financial 
catastrophy. 

most popular science fiction magazine in the 
world, Mr. Kerry O'Quinn!" 

The next five minutes were the loneliest 
I've ever felt. 

I dashed out of the ramp^, up the steps, on- 
to the stage, and a glare of spotlights hit me 
from all directions. Maybe that was a bless- 
ing — because / couldn't see anything. I 
started my welcome talk, and from time to 
time I heard a trickle of applause or laughter 
or some kind of audience response to what I 
was saying. But those people sounded miles 
away. . . . 

I introduced the STARLOG movie and 
sank into the chair as the lights dimmed. For 
the first time I could see the audience — tiny 
groups of two or three people, isolated in 
rows and rows of empty seats. The vast bal- 
conies looked like the Grand Canyon. I felt 
like I was seeing the remains of a rock con- 
cert, an hour after the audience had cleared 



Merritt Butrick was fascinated by the whistles of adoring fans 
and told them what to do in order to see more of him. 



out, with nobody left but a few folks so 
stoned that they didn't realize the music had 
ended. 

During our little movie, I had a chance to 
digest the situation and adjust my nerves. I 
told myself, "No matter how few, these peo- 
ple have paid good money, and I'm going to 
do my best to be as sparkling as I can and to 
give them the show they came to see." From 
then on, it was fun! 



Bring on the Crew! 

Harve Bennett received a tremendous wel- 
come and expressed his appreciation for be- 
ing accepted into the world of Trek. He also 
gave the fans a clue as to Spock's fate in the 
next movie (see page 90). 

Mark Lenard (who has played three differ- 
ent aliens in Trek adventures) charmed the 
audience thoroughly, then settled into the 
chair next to me (thank goodness) for the re- 



mainder of the cast interviews. 

Although Laura Banks didn't have a 
speaking role in Khan, she makes a striking 
appearance on stage (tall and blonde), and 
the fans enjoyed hearing from her. Merritt 
got a warm response (including some 
whistles), although with his blond curls miss- 
ing (he'd cropped his hair short for a play) 
many didn't recognize him. He solved the 
problem by wearing a button that pro- 
claimed, "Son of Kirk." 

Kirstie Alley was stunning to look at and 
wore a different outfit for each show. She and 
Merritt were nervous, making their first ap- 
pearance at a Trek event, and they told the 
audience that their characters (Lt. Saavik and 
David Marcus) will probably return in future 
films only if audience response is positive. 
(Send your raves to Harve Bennett at Para- 
mount, 5451 Marathon St., Hollywood, CA 
90038.) 



CTAD1 nr./Wrtii 



I made the mistake of saying, "And now 
let's meet some of the old cast members ..." 
I was told later that eveyone backstage 
groaned when I said "old" so I changed that 
to "original" in subsequent shows. 

George Takei bounded out, full of energy 
and smiles, as usual — and Walter and Nich- 
elle received big ovations (if that term can tru- 
ly be applied to what turned out to be less 
than 2,000 spectators for the first show). 

Nichelle sang two songs, "Beyond An- 
tares" and "Uhura's Theme," both newly- 
recorded and available on a single record (see 
ad on page 5). Jimmy Doohan enchanted his 
fans with a parade of voice characteriza- 
tions — all the nationalities Scotty might have 
been, if he hadn't been a Scot . Wonderful 
fun! 

De Forest Kelley's reception proved that 
his surly portrayal of Bones has truly en- 
deared him to fans, and he told the audience 
of one letter he received, which included a 
marijuana cigarette with the inscription: 
"You've turned me on so many times, I want 
to return the favor." 

In addition to being volunteer director, 
Walter Koenig wrote an original Trek drama, 
and members of the cast did a dramatic read- 
ing decked out in silver reflective jumpsuits. It 
was a nifty plot, a typical Trek dilemma of 
ethics in action, and it deserves better presen- 
tation than the faulty sound system allowed. 

Finally, Bill Shatner made his grand ap- 
pearance, and he was absolutely magnetic! It 
really doesn't matter that off-stage he's cold 
and detached; on-stage he's professional. For 
one hour he held the audience entranced with 
nothing more than his playful wit, his vast ex- 
perience and his quick command of the lan- 
guage. It was a strong finale! 

Backstage colors 

You can't live with people, under stress, 
for several days without discovering a little of 
their true colors. I won't tell you the negatives 
I observed, just some of my favorite memor- 
ies — like dancing Saturday night at a swanky 
disco where cast and crew mixed and relaxed. 
I did a mean boogie with Nichelle (whom I 
think is one of the loveliest and sexiest women 
I've met) and an even meaner dance with 
Kirstie, who can outlast any man alive. When 
I dropped from exhaustion, she grabbed 
Merritt. Those two are old partners, having 
killed time on the Khan set by dancing. 

And I danced with several of the wonderful 
fans who had given months of effort to make 
U.F. happen and whose efficiency and kind- 
ness helped erase all the negatives of the 
weekend. Another gesture that helped were 
the warm comments from De Kelley, Mark 
and George about my performance. In the 
midst of their own concerns, they were 
thoughtful enough to realize that I was truly 
suffering the wrath of the con. 

Somehow we got through the whole 
bloody weekend: two shows on Saturday, 
one on Sunday— and after the last perform- 
ance the cast was called together to hear the 
bad financial news from the new producer, 
John McDonald (Wilhite vanished sometime 
during the weekend and hasn't been heard 
from since, to my knowledge). From the start 



I had not asked for money to appear, so I 
didn't stick around for the meeting. I dashed 
for a good old Texas bar-b-que eatery— then 
collapsed in my hotel room. 

The Aftermath 

The next day was a total contrast to the 
problems of the weekend, and I'll tell you the 
glorious tale next month in my "From the 
Bridge" editorial. 

If I can judge from the letters I've received 
since returning to New York, most people 
had a good time at U.F. Nice people like 
Elaine and Anne Batterby (NY), Dr. Lucy 
Carroll (PA), Bonnie LeRoy (NY), and Page 
Eileen Lewis (DE) wrote to tell me they en- 
joyed the show tremendously. 

I couldn't help but think back to an editor- 
ial I wrote in STARLOG several years ago, 
titled "Dreams" (#32). I said SF fans are "ex- 
cellent at dreaming, but they're rotten at 
turning those dreams into reality." That was 
the problem with Ultimate Fantasy. The 
plans were grand and glorious, but the plan- 
ners got high on their own hopes and lost 
touch with the real world. 

The staff and crew were living examples of 
devotion to a purpose, and it is an astounding 
accomplishment that U.F. happened at all! I 
never want to go through something like that 
again, but it's an experience I'll never for- 
get — and don't want to. 

George Takei wrote and said it best: 

"I was back in Houston just a week after 
our 'fantasy,' to open a new shopping mall. I 
saw many of the attendees and members of 
the security staff. They all unanimously 
echoed the sentiments that you expressed (in 
your letter to me). I don't think we need to 
feel badly about that event. Indeed, now with 
a retrospective vantage point, I'm actually 
getting kind of fond of that experience. ' ' + 



SF Records 



(continued from page 35) 
is — it's sort of a cross between Forbidden 
Planet and Altered States. "Trangram" is 
melodic, repetitive and compelling. Strong 
thematic statements appear, disappear and 
surprisingly reappear when least expected, 
but at exactly the right time. 

Side two has seven shorter works that 
range from spacey and bubbly (a couple of 
electronic "dance tunes") to melodic and 
haunting, with one cut ("On the Throne of 
Saturn") that's just plain weird. 

My favorites were "Primera" by Alex 
Cima, "Karavan" by Steve Roach— a haunt- 
ing, otherworldly work reminiscent of vin- 
tage Philip Glass — and "Escape" by Michael 
Garrison, which sort of sounds like Vangelis 
under the influence of a mind-expanding 
drug. 

The bottom line on this album is that it 
sounds like the soundtrack of a science-fic- 
tion movie. In fact, it beats the heck out of 
several of the scores written for SF and fan- 
tasy films over the past several years. Mr. 
Norman should be mailing copies of Music 
From the 21st Century to as many producers 
of SF films as he can find. * 

(21st Century reviewed by H. Zimmerman) 



Pan scene 



(continued from page 23) 

isn't as effective with government offices as 
assorted sizes and types of stationery, which 
politicians seem to feel must come directly 
from "the people." 

The following rules may be copied for your 
flyers, and to send out to anyone else who can 
use them: [Serendip:uplifting,] 

1 . Type or write LEGIBLY. 

2. BE BRIEF. One page is best. One 
paragraph is great. Stick to one sub- 
ject, don't 'sandbag' the letter with 
other subjects. 

3 . BE POLITE] No matter how you feel. 

4. Be yourself; avoid form letters. 

5. A LETTER IS BETTER! Petitions 
are often counted as 'one letter.' 

6. Use a letterhead, if entitled to one. 
Your business card stapled to a letter is 
also good. 

7. DON'T GET POLITICAL! This is 
no time for parties. 

8. Don't ask for a reply. You'll only get a 
standard form-letter reply, anyway. 

9 . Carbon copies should NOTbe used to 
avoid writing personal letters! Car- 
bons may be sent to show others you 
have written a letter to someone else. 

10. Now that you've written your letters, 
ask 10 people to write letters. 

11. AndhavethoselOpeopleasklOwore 
people to write letters. 

12. Those 10 people should then ask TEN 
MORE PEOPLE to write. . .and so 
on! 

13. Keep writing] One mass of letters 
means only a ' ' flash-in- the-pan ' ' cam- 
paign that politicians can ignore, to get 
attention, keep letters going in every 
week from now on! 

14. It will work ! It /uzs worked ! We can do 
it) WRITE NOW! 

For more information, some details of 
space advocacy, please send a business-sized 
SASE (Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope) 
to: Space: WRITE NOW!, P.O. Box 36851, 
Los Angeles, CA 90036-0851. This is an in- 
corporated non-profit space advocacy effort 
headed by us, John and Bjo Trimble, with its 
own educational tax-deductible fund, in case 
there is a generous space advocate out there. 
Many thanks to the fine fans who have in- 
cluded extra stamps when they send for 
WRITE NOW! information; those have 
helped our mounting postage bills! 

Please write and tell how your write-in 
worked, and what you added to these ideas, 
or how you managed details I didn't cover. I 
really am very interested, and any new sug- 
gestions can be added to a future column on 
the subject. 



EDITOR 'S NOTE: Bjo has been given a free hand to ex- 
press any ideas, with any attitude, and in any language she 
wishes, and therefore, this column does not necessarily 
represent the editorial views of STARLOG magazine nor 
our philosophy. The content is copyrighted © 1982 by Bjo 
Trimble. 



96 STARLOG/ 'November 1982 



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LASTWORD 




w 



Fell, it was one hell of a summer, 
folks. It was certainly the busi- 
est one for SF and fantasy since 
STARLOG was born. It wasn't easy decid- 
ing how best to serve our audience— for 
the first time in a long time, our problem 
was an embarrassment of riches: when 
four big films break in a single month, 
how do we decide which one becomes the 
cover story? 

Since last April, every time the question was raised, the most 
common answer, quite naturally, was E. T. But we were consis- 
tently stymied in our quest to feature the film in STARLOG. Fi- 
nally, a breakthrough occurred and E. T. made the cover last 
month. (For more on our problems with covering E. T, see pub- 
lisher Kerry O'Quinn's "Bridge" editorial, also in the last issue, 
STARLOG #63.) 

Of course, we haven't finished our coverage of the big summer 
films. For the next several months we'll be taking you behind the 
scenes of several of the productions and show you how the magic 
was made. 




Now, a few words about this issue's special film reviews sec- 
tion. Through the' first 63 issues of STARLOG we printed only a 
single movie review. That was Harlan Ellison's lengthy examina- 
tion of Star Trek-The Motion Picture. Obviously, it has been our 
policy not to run reviews. This is based on a feeling shared by 
myself and publisher O'Quinn that STARLOG should not be an 
opinion-making magazine, but rather one of news and behind- 
the-scenes features. Our personal opinions have been restricted to 
the editorial pages. Your opinions have guided us as to content 
and direction. It has never been our intention to formulate opin- 
ions for our readers — just to present the information and let you 
decide for yourselves. 

Then why have we included reviews? 

Basically, because by the time this issue has been published, 
the reviewed films will have been playing for several months — 
plenty of time for you to have seen the films that caught your in- 
terest and for you to have formed your opinions. The most dam- 
aging effect a review can have is to stop a person from seeing a 
film, based on someone else's perceptions. We did not want this 
to happen. 

But we did think that, now that you've probably seen the 
films, you might be interested in how some of the members of 
the professional community felt about them. (I must add that 
several of the reviews have sparked a lively controversy among 
the magazine's staff.) 

So there you have it. A magazine that never prints reviews is 
printing eight of them in one issue. We hope that you enjoy 
them ... or at least that they help you to look at your favorite (or 
least liked) film in a new light. 

Let me know what you think of the reviews. I'm not promis- 
ing that more will be forthcoming — but I also won't say that it's 
entirely out of the question. /O 



'? 



Howard Zimmerman/Editor 








NEXTMONTH 



MARK 

HAMILL— 

TIMES 

TWO 

That's right, in 
STARLOG #65 we'll 
give you two Mark Hamills 
for the price of one. While 
Mr. Hamill was in New York 
taping The Empire Strikes 
Back for National Public 
Radio, he was kind enough 
to make some time to talk 
with Managing Editor Sue 
Adamo. •Choice parts of 
their wide-ranging conversa- 
tion will appear next month. 
As to the other Mr. J^j 
Hamill .... A few issues 
back we brought you a 
report from the Arizona 
desert on some live-action 
filming being done for Revenge of the Jedi. Joe 
Copeland, a Yuma student pursuing a degree in business ad- 
ministration and a big Star Wars fan, was tapped by the hand 
of fate. He won the job of acting as Mr. Hamill's stand-in 
throughout the entire Yuma shoot. Next issue he tells us in his 
own words how it happened and what it was like. 

BEHIND THE SCENES 
ATILM 

Iovie magic has become even more breathtaking in the 
past few years, due in large part to those astonishingly 
gifted artists and technicians at Industrial Light & Magic. The 
past summer alone they accounted for some of the screen's 
most awesome moments in The Wrath of Khan, E. T and 
Poltergeist. On page 17 of this issue we showed you how the 
ILM crew came up with the Genesis footage. Next issue we'll 
take you behind the scenes of E. T. and Poltergeist. 

ARTHUR C. CLARKE 

The sequel to 200 J: A Space Odyssey has been completed 
by Sri Lanka's leading citizen, Arthur C. Clarke. Clarke 
travels as little as necessary, but one of our intrepid reporters 
caught up with him in Vienna, Austria, where he was attend- 
ing (and addressing) the United Nations' "Unispace" con- 
ference. Next month we'll share with you some of Clarke's 
thoughts on the realities of space today and a preview of 
"Odyssey 2." 



STARLOG #65 

on sale 

TUESDAY 
NOVEMBER 9, 1982 



98 STARLOG/November 1982 



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